During the legal battle, masks became part of a school’s dress code

Texas is at war with the state Supreme Court over whether schools can make wearing masks mandatory So far the mandates have been allowed to remain in place. But a small district northeast of Dallas found a different way to use masks – the dress code.

Paris ISD Board of Trustees Voted Including masks for about 4,000 students as well as staff in the district’s dress code earlier this month. A Executive order The governor may have banned schools from having to cover their faces, but district attorneys assured trustees that the order did nothing to overturn Texas law that gives them district administration powers – including rules about what students wear.

“This is not a loophole, this law is permanent,” said Denis Eiselbaum, general counsel for the Paris ISD. WFAA. “And so the school district found it convenient to make a decision based on the fact that the law still exists.”

The battle to gain control over the masked command is making enemies of school officials who want it to be part of their Covid-19 safety protocol, and state officials who are determined to cover their faces from what the class needs.

The first day of classes was approaching and as the delta type of virus spread, school districts in the Lone Star state began to buck the mask order ban. It all started Large districts In the metro area, the habit of locking the horn with the governor from local control, and soon it spread across the state. The Texas Attorney General’s Office Tracking Dozens of “non-compliant” school districts with masking requirements with Paris ISD.

Kevin Brown, executive director of the Texas Association of School Administrators, says school leaders are often able to buy and sell what they think is best for students. But stress over issues such as masking and the Covid-19 vaccine has changed that.

“This is definitely the most challenging time for school leaders in my career because you have all kinds of problems with covid,” Brown says.

Fighting is raging across the country, much like the wars in Texas. Officers in Florida And Riz Rizona Districts have been threatened by funding cuts on mask rules, and Missouri’s attorneys are taking over Legal action Stopping the need for school masks. A Iowa I. Joining the ranks of parents seeking redress to prevent states from making masks mandatory in schools.

Brown says that when school districts move forward with the mask order, they make the decision with local input. When the Paris ISD decided on masking, for example, the board objected to the order from health officials, as well as some residents and teachers.

Although the districts chose not to require masks, he says, it has been done with their understanding of the community.

“If someone gets sick and dies, whether it’s a teacher or a bus driver or a child, it’s very personal. We go to church with them on the weekends and we shop at the grocery store with them and we go to ball games, ”Brown says. “I think you’ve found countless communities who have said, ‘We’re going to take care of each other.'”

Looking for common ground

Brown hopes parents and others who oppose the mask order in their schools will keep things professional.

“I think it’s a big concern that this has become a divisive issue and we need to find ways to work together collaboratively in our communities and not allow national politics to divide our local communities,” Brown says.

Some parents have crossed the line against the mask rules. She was allegedly raped by a teacher near Austin The face mask is torn A parent visiting a teacher at night. The California father is accused Beating the teacher During the debate about masks.

“Some of the messages sent to our school leaders, even our teachers, are very aggressive, inappropriate and threatening,” he says. “These are people who could have done anything they wanted in their careers but they decided to serve the kids and they didn’t sign up to attack.”

Brown says the stress makes some teachers reconsider whether they can stay in their jobs and ultimately it’s bad for students.

“I think people underestimate how challenging it is for children in our state, and if we don’t get that right, we’ll pay a big price.” “We are talking about a whole generation of children who have done unprecedented things in their lives. The best thing for them is to be in the classroom with a caring teacher who will provide educational support, socio-emotional support – and help them. ”

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