Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday sued six school districts for going against Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on local masking orders. These school districts are Elgin, Galveston, Richardson, Round Rock, Sherman, and Spring. These school district required their students, teachers, school employees, and visitors to mask up or wear face coverings while on the premises of their schools.
Paxton sued these school districts for “unlawful political maneuvering.” He said: “If districts choose to spend their money on legal fees, they must do so knowing that my office is ready and willing to litigate these cases. I have full confidence that the courts will side with the law – not acts of political defiance.”
Round Rock Independent School District officials did not comment on the lawsuit but released a statement saying the mask requirements they imposed help have their schools remain open, ABC 13 reported.
“We do work closely with both our local health authorities in Williamson and Travis counties who advise us that masks remain an essential tool in stemming the spread of COVID-19 in our classrooms,” said one official.
On the other hand, Spring Independent School District officials said that they learned about the lawsuit through a press release from the attorney general’s office. They said that they would let the legal process unfold and allow the courts to decide based on the case’s merits.
Paxton isn’t the only one filing lawsuit. Several school districts, cities, and counties also sued over the mask mandate ban, which bars local officials from compelling people to wear masks.
Since the ban, around 85 school districts and six counties have instituted mask mandates of some kind. They all claim the same thing – to protect schoolchildren who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine. Many school-aged children started attending face-to-face classes, and it has been more difficult than ever because of the increase in COVID-19 cases across the United States because of the Delta variant.
As the courts have conflicting decisions regarding the mask mandates, Abbott has called on Texas lawmakers to draft a bill that would altogether stop school officials from requiring students, teachers, and other school employees to wear face coverings.