On Sunday, the Texas Supreme Court issued an emergency stay for Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on local face mask mandates.
The Texas high court’s action overrides some earlier lower court rulings that ruled in favor two Texas counties specifically, Dallas and Bexar counties, enabling them to impose temporary mask mandates.
The two counties had ordered mask mandates in defiance of Governor Abbott’s executive order that banned such mandates.
Moving On With Mask Mandates
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) tweeted on Friday that he would continue to fight for the governor’s order in court. There are court hearings scheduled for Monday, and again on August 24.
However, officials from the Dallas Independent school district said they will continue the mask mandates in defiance of the state’s supreme court ruling.
Before the ruling, the Dallas, Austin, and Houston school districts had imposed mask mandates in defiance of Abbott’s order.
The Dallas school district said on its website, “Governor Abbott’s order does not limit the district’s rights as an employer and educational institution to establish reasonable and necessary safety rules for its staff and students.”
Florida Districts Also Defying Mandate Bans
In another Republican-led state, school districts in Florida are also defying Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates. Broward County school district is the latest to defy the ban on mask mandates in the Sunshine state.
DeSantis said recently that he could work to withhold pay to any school officials who continue to enforce mask mandates. This prompted White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki one day later to suggest that the Biden administration would pay anyone who was docked pay for enforcing mask mandates.
Even with lawsuits flying in Florida, DeSantis has stood by the mandate ban, saying it is a matter of parental choice.
He said, “It’s about parental choice, not government mandate, and I think ultimately, parents will be able to exercise the choices that they deem appropriate for their kids.”
COVID Numbers In Dallas County
As of Friday, COVID-19 cases in Dallas County reported 787 confirmed cases and 128 probable cases. Dallas County was also reporting an additional 915 positive cases. A total of 4,244 Dallas County residents have died from COVID.
District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said on Sunday, “Until there’s an official order of the court that applies to the Dallas Independent School District, we will continue to have the mask mandate.”
Hinojosa asked the Governor to let local communities to get past “this ugly period,” and allow local municipalities to make decisions for their particular situations.