The Texas Supreme Court handed school districts in San Antonio a huge defeat by striking down a mask mandate on Thursday evening, which is the latest rejection of a mandate at the local level in the state, as the debate about the efficacy of masks continues to rage as educators struggle to find a way to keep in-person instruction safe.
Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton have not been shy about expressing their opinion on mask mandates within the state of Texas, even while several counties have tried, unsuccessfully, to appeal an executive order from May 18 which bans school districts from putting out mask mandates.
Following the court’s decision , Paxton tweeted a reminder that public schools in Texas cannot mandate masks, echoing previous threats to take any school districts or businesses that defy the order to court.
San Antonio’s failure to mount a successful legal challenge to the executive order is the latest in a string of defeats for counties resisting the directive. Dallas and Bexar counties took the governor’s order to court earlier this month, but both were blocked from mandating masks by the Texas Supreme Court.
The governor’s order forbidding mask mandates caused schools to think creatively to work around the governor’s law, such as the Paris Independent School District , which implemented masks as part of the school’s dress code on Aug. 17. Other school districts have simply ignored Abbott’s directive, including one school district in Dallas , which implemented a mask mandate on Aug. 9 despite the legal consequences.
As of Aug. 26, the state has over 270,000 active COVID-19 cases , according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.Over 67% of Texas’s residents have received their first dose of a vaccine, while over 56% have been fully vaccinated, the state’s Health and Human Services Commission added .
Look, the virus has proven to not be that hard on children. And as it turns out, kids aren’t the super spreaders we all thought they were, so what’s the point of these mask mandates?
Not to mention the efficacy of masks in general is rather dubious. They haven’t done a great job of preventing the illness from spreading thus far. What has changed?
Not a dang thing.