It’s one thing to decide that you, personally, do not want to wear a face mask. It’s another thing for the governor of a state to decide that no one should have to wear one. But to be the governor of the state with the second-highest number of COVID infections in the country who is actively working to ban both mask and vaccine mandates—all while you actually have COVID—is like something out of a damn horror movie.
Yet that’s exactly what Texas Governor Greg Abbott is doing right now, much to the distress of many Texans, including the students and educators being impacted by Abbott’s executive order to ban masks in schools. And right at the exact moment we’ve hit a record high in terms of the number of kids hospitalized with COVID. Fortunately, as NBC News reports, there are educators in the state who care more about the health and wellbeing of their colleagues, students, and those students’ parents who have cleverly found a way to circumvent Abbott’s tyranny. On Tuesday, the Paris Independent School District issued a statement that it was updating its official dress code to include face masks:
The Board of Trustees is concerned about the health and safety of its students and employees. The Board believes the dress code can be used to mitigate communicable health issues, and therefore has amended the PISD dress code to protect our students and employees. The Texas Governor does not have the authority to usurp the Board of Trustees’ exclusive power and duty to govern and oversee the management of the public schools of the district. Nothing in the Governor’s Executive Order 38 states he has suspended Chapter 11 of the Texas Education Code, and therefore the Board has elected to amend its dress code consistent with its statutory authority.
It’s a big step for a small school district, which is home to approximately 4000 students—and hopefully one that will catch on. Especially since Abbott’s mask ban directly contradicts the advice of the CDC, which is recommending that all students, from kindergarten through 12th grade, wear a face mask when they return to school—even if they’ve been vaccinated. It’s a lesson Abbott could learn a little something from.
(Via NBC News)