On Wednesday, a United States judge overruled Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s prohibition on mandatory masking in the state’s schools, clearing the way for districts to issue their own requirements. The order comes after a months-long lawful disagreement between a disability rights organization, parents, and Texas officials over whether Texas was violating the 1990 law, known as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or ADA, by not permitting districts to mandate face masks.
A United States Districts Judge, Lee Yeakel, barred Attorney General Ken Paxton from enforcing Texas head’s order. Lee Yeakel said Gov. Abbott’s order violated the landmark ADA, prohibiting discrimination based on disability and providing approachability to all public areas. Moreover, the judge stated that the order puts children with disabilities who are susceptible to COVID at higher risk of the lethal virus.
I strongly disagree with Judge Yeakel’s opinion barring my office from giving effect to GA-38, which prohibits mask mandates imposed by government entities like school districts.
My Agency is considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision.
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) November 11, 2021
In a statement, Kim David Johnson of Disability Rights Texas said that as the court found, Texas isn’t above the US law, and state authorities couldn’t stop school districts from providing accommodations to students particularly susceptible to the COVID risks.
Paxton said on Twitter that he firmly disagreed with Yeakel’s opinion barring his office from giving effect to GA-38, which blocks face-mask mandates imposed by government units like school districts. However, he added his agency is considering all “legal avenues” to challenge that decision.
Majority of Texans Support Coronavirus Jab, Masking Mandates
The issue of requirements to prevent the pandemic has become politicized in much of America. The supporters of COVID-19 rules express that they’re needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic, and challengers argue they prevent individual freedom.
Gov. Greg Abbott is one of the several conservative GOP governors across America who has issued orders prohibiting local school districts from imposing a face-mask mandate policy as an approach to prevent the spread of the fatal COVID-19.
According to The Texas Tribune, Disability Rights Texas sued in the U.S. federal court on behalf of many Texas families in August to attempt to prevent the requirements ban. However, Kym Davis Rogers, Disability Rights Texas litigation Attorney, said that no student should be compelled to make the choice of losing their education or risking their well-being, and now they wouldn’t have to.
Moreover, The Tribune says that Roger stated she doesn’t rule out Texas appealing the verdict in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit because the State has gone that way before, most freshly over its strict abortion law.
A survey of twelve-hundred respondents in Texas found that 57 percent support face-mask requirements in indoor public spots based on local conditions, while 58 percent support face-mask requirements for staffers and students in public schools. However, 40% oppose the restrictions at indoors, and 39 percent oppose the rules at schools.