Texas Governor Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Schools Requiring Masks

Texas Governor Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Schools Requiring Masks

Texas Governor Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Schools Requiring Masks. Thingscouplesdo.com
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order this spring prohibiting school districts from requiring masks. Schools officials in Dallas say they won’t comply, and others may follow.

The Governor has already said that that the Texas schools would not require masks about a week ago. See the video below:


Dallas’ Independent School District defied the state’s Republican governor Monday, announcing it will require all students and school staff to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

“We’re in a situation that has gotten significantly more urgent,” Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said. “The delta variant has surged.”

“I’m accountable for everything, so I need to implement whatever safety protocols I feel are in the best interest of our school districts.”

Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order this spring while cases were declining that prohibits school districts from requiring masks. But as the highly contagious delta variant causes transmission and hospitalization rates to spike, pressure from the Lone Star State’s biggest districts has been mounting for him to walk it back.

“Effective Tuesday, August 10, to protect staff and students from the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, Dallas ISD is temporarily requiring all staff, students and visitors to wear masks when on district property,” the district announced Monday. “Governor Abbott’s order does not limit the district’s rights as an employer and educational institution to establish reasonable and necessary safety rules for its staff and students.”

The decision comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dallas County health officials have raised the COVID-19 alert to level red and reported that hospitalizations are rising at the fastest rate since the pandemic began, among all age groups, including children. Given that students under 12 are not yet eligible for a vaccine but that school is mandatory and there are no virtual options, Hinojosa said he felt compelled to put the mask mandate in place.

The district returned students to 41 middle and elementary schools on Monday and is set to open district-wide on Aug. 16.

Officials from Houston Independent School District – the state’s largest – have signaled interest in following suit, as have those in Austin.

As the new school year gets underway, some governors have issued new mask mandates for K-12 schools, and at least one governor – Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas – is trying to walk back a bill he signed into law that prohibits school districts from mandating masks. But Abbott dug in his heels, instead calling upon individuals to take personal responsibility to do what is right.

“Going forward, in Texas, there will not be any government-imposed shutdowns or mask mandates,” he said last week.

On Sunday, the Southern Center for Child Advocacy, a nonprofit education group, filed a lawsuit against the governor over the executive order, arguing that school districts should be able to make decisions that reflect the current state of coronavirus transmission in their community, especially given the new, more contagious variants.

As of Aug. 8, there were 2.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. In Dallas, there were 820 new cases as of last Friday, and public health officials project there will be more than 2,000 new cases daily in Dallas by Aug. 23.

The White House is stepping up its pressure on governors like Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who are barring school districts from requiring masks.

“Some governors aren’t willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, and they should allow businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do it,” Biden said last week.

Hinojosa said he’s prepared to handle whatever repercussions come as a result of defying Abbott’s executive order.

“We are not going to be the only ones who are taking this action,” he said.