Texas School District Sneaks in Loophole to Avoid Governor’s No Mask Mandate
A school district in Texas is using its dress code to circumvent Governor Greg Abbott's no mask mandate executive order.
The Paris Independent School District school board in northeast Texas amended its dress code this week to require masks.
"The Texas Governor does not have the authority to usurp the Board of Trustees’ exclusive power and duty to govern and oversee the management of the public schools of the district," the district said in a statement. "Nothing in the Governor’s Executive Order 38 states he has suspended Chapter 11 of the Texas Education Code, and therefore the Board has elected to amend its dress code consistent with its statutory authority."
The district sited safety as a reason to change the dress code and include masks for students.
Some are calling the move by the Paris ISD a loophole although the general counsel for the district Dennis J. Eichelbaum says that is not the case.
“It's not a loophole, it's a law that's been there forever,” Eichelbaum said.
“The discussion really centered around Chapter 11 of the Texas Education Code. And the fact that the trustees are given the exclusive authority to govern the schools of the district. Nothing in Executive Order 38 suspended Chapter 11 of the Texas Education Code. And so the school district felt comfortable in making its decision based on the fact that that law was still in place. There is nothing in the disaster order or any of the governor's orders that suspends Chapter 11. And so based upon Chapter 11, they took the opportunity to enforce their dress code,” Eichelbaum said.
We'd like to know your opinion. Do you feel the Paris ISD found a loophole in the governor's executive order? Should other districts use the same loophole like maybe the San Angelo ISD? Let us know on Facebook or on our station app.