Texas school district finds loophole in mask mandate ban – the dress code

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FILE – In this May 18, 2021 file photo, fifth graders wearing face masks are seated at proper social distancing during a music class at the Milton Elementary School in Rye, N.Y. As the nation closes out a school year marred by the pandemic, some states are now starting to release new standardized test scores that offer an early glimpse at just how far students have fallen behind — with some states reporting that the turbulent year has reversed years of progress across every academic subject. New York, Georgia and some other states pushed to cancel testing for a second year so schools could focus on classroom learning. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

PARIS, Texas (KVEO) — A northern Texas school district found a creative way around Gov. Greg Abbott’s mask mandate ban – administrators simply added masks to the dress code.

Paris ISD is the first district to amend its dress code, stating it does not go against Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order.

“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,” Paris ISD announced on its website.

In May, Abbott signed an executive order prohibiting school districts and local governments to enact mask mandates.

In the past couple of weeks, school districts, county judges, and city officials from around Texas filed lawsuits against state leaders regarding mask mandates as COVID cases increase.

Abbott has threatened legal action against schools and local governments that issue mask mandates.

However, judges have sided with some school districts and local governments by granting temporary restraining orders against Abbott.

Abbott, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, has repeatedly said he will not re-instate a mask mandate, but will encourage “personal responsibility” instead.

Several major school districts across the state have enacted their own mandates, including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston and Austin ISDs, according to KXAN. The status of several mandates is temporary and statewide, it’s unclear how many such requirements will play out in the coming weeks.

Paris ISD’s statement did not specify what kind of mask will be incorporated in the dress code.

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