Texas AG Issues Stern Warning for School Districts That Mandate Masks
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton took to Facebook to warn Texas school districts that are mandating masks to stop immediately or face legal action.
Paxton Throws Down the Gauntlet
Perhaps it's come down to 'put up or shut up' time in Texas, as AG Paxton has issued a stern warning to all school districts in Texas that are mandating masks for faculty, staff, and students.
The message is “rescind now or see you in court.” Meaning if a Texas school district is mandating masks, the long arm of Gov. Abbott is coming for you.
What's the Beef?
Back in May, Gov. Abbott issued an Executive Order banning most government facilities from issuing mask mandates in Texas.
According to CBSNews, that included counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities, and government officials.
Abbott said, "Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices, which is why masks will not be mandated by public school districts or government entities. We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans' liberty to choose whether or not they mask up."
Since then, COVID-19 cases have surged across Texas and the rest of the country.
To Mask or Not to Mask
With the spike in COVID-19 cases across the country, many school districts asked Abbott to reconsider his stance and allow schools to mandate masks in order to protect faculty, staff, and students, but Abbott stood firm on his mask policy, warning schools that they would face lawsuits if a mandate was put in place.
That didn't stop several school districts across Texas from challenging Abbott's Executive Order and mandating their own mask rules.
What Local Schools are Mandating Masks?
Here in Central Texas, there are several school districts that have opted to mandate masks in response to the rise in COVID-19 cases. According to KWTX, those schools include Waco ISD, McGregor ISD, and Connally ISD. Some districts have taken a different approach. La Vega ISD is rewarding students who wear a mask with candy and stickers.
Gettin' in Line
AG Paxton did mention in his Facebook post that several districts "smartly rescinded mask mandates.” Those districts included Trenton, Calvert, and Los Fresnos ISDs. His Facebook went on to say, “In doing so, they’ll save taxpayer dollars in futile litigation expenses AND come into compliance with state law. MANY more ISDs are still breaking the law. Lawsuits are coming against them THIS WEEK.”
Looks like a showdown is coming soon.