Texas has sued 15 school districts across the state who have mandated masks in the classroom. This follows Governor Greg Abbott’s threat to sue after his ban on local mask mandates in May. Currently 108 districts are defying the order.
Abbott’s executive order stated that no publicly funded institutions could require masks, this includes public schools, public universities and community colleges. The Texas Education Association has not required schools to comply with the ban, shedding more distrust onto Abbott’s ruling.
Texas General Attorney, Ken Paxton, sued the following districts on Sept. 10: Elgin ISD, Galveston ISD, Round Rock ISD, Richardson ISD, Spring ISD and Sherman ISD. There appears to be no rhyme or reason to why Paxton has targeted these specific districts.
Paxton added nine more districts to the suit on Sept. 14. These included McGregor ISD, Midway ISD, Diboll ISD, Honey Grove ISD, La Vega ISD, Longview ISD, Lufkin ISD, Paris ISD, and Waco ISD.
“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,” Paxton said. “I have full confidence that the courts will side with the law – not acts of political defiance.”
Rockwall ISD, part of the original six, stated that they required masks after working closely with local health officials. Paxton and Abbott have stated that the ban trumps any local health ordinances.
“[The ban] has the force and effect of state law and must be followed, regardless of whether local officials agree with it.” wrote Paxton in the lawsuit.
Paxton warns other school districts that he will bring them to court for defying this ban. “There will be more to come as lawlessness continues across the state.” Paxton said on Twitter.