Aug 18, 2021 - Health

Texas school district adds masks to dress code, skirting ban on COVID mandates

Students make their hand into a smile to show they are happy, since their mouths are covered, during the first day of class at Tustin Ranch Elementary School in Tustin, CA

Photo: Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

A school district in Paris, Texas, will change its dress code to require masks — finding a possible loophole around Gov. Greg Abbott's statewide ban on mandates.

Why it matters: The school district's decision comes after the Republican governor, who has fought vehemently against public health measures, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

  • COVID-19 cases are surging due to the highly contagious Delta variant, and deaths are rising in the state.

The big picture: The Paris Independent School District said in a statement Tuesday that Abbott doesn't have the authority to take over the Board of Trustees' exclusive power to oversee the school.

  • "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 stated in a press release after the meeting.
  • The dress code changes aren't permanent and can be revised at the monthly Board of Trustee meetings, per The Paris News.
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