Abbott’s Ban On School Mask Mandates Gets Countered By Judge

FILE PHOTO: Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks at the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Texas, U.S., May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

This past Wednesday, a United States district judge slammed a block on the mask mandate ban for Texas schools put forth by Greg Abbott, the GOP Governor of Texas.

back on the 29th of July, Abbott put forth an executive order that stated “No governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face-covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering.”

Then, in mid-August, a federal lawsuit was put in place by Disability Rights Texas on behalf of a group of 14 child plaintiffs targeting Abbott and Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath, putting forth the argument that the executive order from the governor banning school districts and charter schools from implementing mask mandates was “putting students with disabilities at significant risk, is discriminatory, and violates the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act.”

Very Best Bumperstickers 600 x 300

Around the middle of September, President Biden’s Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) stated its plans to start investigating as to whether or not the Texas Education Agency’s plan to prohibit school mask mandates kept students that had disabilities from being able to safely return to classes in-person and was in violation of federal law. The Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Suzanne B. Goldberg, stated:

OCR is opening a directed investigation into TEA’s compliance with Section 504 and Title II. Specifically, OCR will examine whether, prohibition on local school districts and schools from requiring the use of masks, TEA may be in light of Texas’s preventing school districts in the state from considering or meeting the individual educational needs of students with disabilities or otherwise enabling discrimination whether TEA may be preventing schools from making individualized assessments about mask use based on disability. In this investigation, particular attention will be given to so that students with disabilities can attend school in person, consistent with their right to receive a free appropriate public education and to violation of Section 504 and Title II discrimination based on their disability.

Then on Wednesday, Lee Yeakel, a United States District, placed a ruling that stated that the ban from the governor was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“The ruling also prohibited Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton from suing school districts that require students to wear masks as a safety measure. Paxton already had sued 15 school districts to overturn those local mask mandates,” reported The Daily Mail.

“The spread of COVID-19 poses an even greater risk for children with special health needs,” claimed Yeakel. “Children with certain underlying conditions who contract COVID-19 are more likely to experience severe acute biological effects and to require admission to a hospital and the hospital’s intensive-care unit.”

“The State Supreme Court has repeatedly allowed the governor’s ban to remain in effect, but the impact of Wednesday’s federal ruling could ripple across the country in similar cases in other states,” The New York Times claimed.

After the handing out of the ruling, Paxton issued a reply on Twitter, writing, “I strongly disagree with Judge Yeakel’s opinion barring my office from giving effect to GA-38, which prohibits mask mandates imposed by government entities like school districts. My Agency is considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision.”

You Might Like

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.