Houston ISD mask mandate to remain in place after new ruling on Texas ban – KHOU.com
The order against mask mandates in public schools was restored on Wednesday, but HISD has joined other districts across the state in a lawsuit.
HOUSTON — Houston ISD is planning to keep their mask mandate in place. This comes one day after the ban on mask mandates was restored for Texas public schools.
The district released a statement Thursday in response to the ruling on Gorvernor Greg Abbott’s executive order.
As the court battles go back and forth, HISD said this latest ruling doesn’t change anything for the district.
“The ruling does not impact the requirement that students, staff, and visitors must wear masks while on HISD property. This mandate remains in place for HISD schools.”
After the holiday season, they will review their COVID data trends from the first semester to determine whether they will change their safety protocols.
HISD is also taking part in a state lawsuit alongside other school districts. Representatives say the lawsuit focuses on state law and decisions made by local district leaders.
Read the full statement below:
“Yesterday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily halted the enforcement of a federal injunction against Governor Gregg Abbott’s executive order that seeks to prohibit public school districts from mandating the wearing of face masks, pending the Court’s full review of the matter. The ruling does not impact the requirement that students, staff, and visitors must wear masks while on HISD property. This mandate remains in place for HISD schools.
While we are heartened that we have maintained the lowest rate of active COVID-19 cases in the state and vaccinations are now available for our youngest students, HISD’s mask mandate will remain in place for students, staff, and visitors in all HISD schools, buildings, and buses regardless of vaccination status. We will review all data trends related to COVID-19 after the holidays and through the first semester of classes to determine if any changes need to be made to our safety protocols.
HISD, along with other school districts, is a party to a separate lawsuit in state court that is not based on the federal laws protecting students with disabilities. Rather, it is based on state law, and the right of local districts to make health and safety decisions regarding their students. The HISD litigation is pending.
The specific case involved in the Fifth Circuit ruling was brought by Disability Rights Texas, a nonprofit organization, that supports the rights of students with special needs arguing that these students are at high risk of COVID and should be able to attend schools in person as safely as possible under federal law.”