Texas school district cleverly finds loophole in Gov. Abbott's executive order banning mask mandates

Texas school district cleverly finds loophole in Gov. Abbott's executive order banning mask mandates
Don’t wait to take command of your children’s health. Prioritize preventive exams and vaccinations before the school year begins. Preventive services, routine immunizations, and health screenings are the best ways to make sure your kids are healthy and ready to hit the books. (U.S. Air Force photo by L.A. Shively)

A Texas school district is effectively pushing back against Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) ban on mask mandates after finding a significant loophole in the Governor's executive order.

According to The Star-Telegram, the Paris, Texas Independent School District's board of trustees voted in favor of incorporating a change to the school district's dress code. The distinct verbiage now includes masks as part of the school district's dress code as opposed to it being a separate requirement.

The school district's website has also been updated to address the changes.

"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," Paris ISD said in a release posted on its website. "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."

In a press release, the school district cites its concerns about the health and safety of students and staff members amid the COVID-19 resurgence. As a way to circumvent the governor's ban, the school district is confident the dress code can be used as a form of mitigation.

"The Board of Trustees is concerned about the health and safety of its students and employees," the Paris ISD release says. "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 school district's decision comes COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to rise among adults and children in the state of Texas. Paris ISD is one of multiple school districts pushing back against the governor's controversial ban on mask mandates.

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