Education

Williamson County Judge Blocks Round Rock ISD From Enforcing Mask Mandate

Attorney General Ken Paxton declared “Another WIN!” in a tweet Thursday night in its legal fight against school districts that have defied Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive orders banning schools from requiring masks.

ROUND ROCK, TX — A state district judge in Williamson County has temporarily blocked Round Rock ISD from enforcing its mask mandate.

Attorney General Ken Paxton declared “Another WIN!” in a tweet Thursday night in its legal fight against school districts that have defied Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive orders banning schools from requiring masks.

Last Friday, Paxton sued Round Rock along with Elgin and other school districts with mask mandates. Right now, there are 94 Texas school districts that require masks to be worn in public.
These districts include public charter schools and several counties, which are in defiance of the governor’s order, according to a list maintained by Paxton’s office.

In a statement Thursday night, Round Rock ISD officials said they had not been officially served or notified by Paxton’s office of the order. School district leaders said their legal counsel was not given the opportunity to be present at any court proceedings to “oppose the issuance of this order.”

“We will also use all proper and available legal proceedings to challenge this order and vigorously defend its long-established lawful authority to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for Round Rock ISD students and staff, including during this pandemic,” the statement said.”The district continues to strongly encourage and recommend the use of masks in accordance with guidance from our local health authorities.”

Round Rock Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez asked community members in a letter to continue following the district’s board-approved mask mandate, despite the fact that the board did not vote to extend it beyond Friday at midnight, when it is set to expire.

The school board postponed its discussion of the mandate after people disrupted the proceedings on Tuesday. The school board is scheduled to meet and discuss the mandate again on Wednesday.

“I will be asking Trustees at the Wednesday meeting to approve a recommendation to connect mask requirements to the risk stages determined by ue to require masks while our counties are in Red/Stage 5 and Orange/Stage 4.”

Written by Meagan Falcon

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