Education

Judge halts AG Paxton’s lawsuit against Waco and La Vega ISDs over face mask mandates

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and a student wearing a face mask at school.
source KWTX Photo

WACO, Texas (KWTX) – The officer of 414th State District Judge Vicki Menard confirmed to News 10 the judge granted a motion filed by attorneys for the Waco and La Vega school districts to abate lawsuits filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against the school districts over face mask mandates issued in defiance of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order.

“We are pleased with the judge’s decision to grant the plea in abatement and appreciate her careful consideration of the issues in this case,” Waco ISD said in a statement emailed to News 10. “We’ll continue to monitor legal developments across the state and public health developments in our community and reassess our approach as developments warrant.”

The governor’s Executive Order GA-36 prohibits governmental entities in Texas – including counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities, or government officials – from requiring or mandating mask wearing.

Paxton has pursued legal action against multiple districts across the state as more schools turned to face mask mandates to help curb COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

While campaigning in Waco earlier this year, Paxton told News 10 he agreed safety should be a priority, but his job is to enforce the law. “I don’t make the laws. I don’t pick what the law says. My job is to enforce the law whether I like it or not,” the attorney general told News 10.

News 10 spoke with Waco ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon shortly after the attorney general filed a lawsuit against her district. “I’m not interested in politics. I’m focused on taking care of kids,” she said at the time.

Kincannon, at the time, said data revealed the number of positive COVID-19 cases dropped significantly in her school district soon after it decided to implement a mask mandate for students, staff and visitors.

The Waco Tribune Herald reports the abatement is pending a final resolution in the case of La Joya Independent School District v. Greg Abbott. The case is currently pending in the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin, the Waco Tribune Herald reports.

Written by KWTX Staff

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