Dallas school district maintains mask mandate despite state Supreme Court ruling
The Dallas Independent School District in Texas will maintain its mask mandate for students despite a Texas Supreme Court ruling that upheld Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) ban on such measures.
Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said on Sunday, “Until there’s an official order of the court that applies to the Dallas Independent School District, we will continue to have the mask mandate,” according to The Dallas Morning News.
The Texas Supreme Court had blocked temporary restraining orders that had allowed local entities to issue mask mandates.
Thousands of Dallas-area students are expected to return to school this week amid the unclear mask policies, the Morning News reports.
Speaking to The Hill last week, Hinojosa called on Abbott to allow local elected officials to make mask decisions for their own communities.
“Just let us get through this ugly period, and then go back and put your order back in place. And just allow us in local communities to make decisions that are in our best interest,” Hinojosa said.
Hinojosa described the situation going into the school year as a “perfect storm,” bemoaning how his school district has not been permitted to offer virtual learning for students this year for those who may need it.
“We need the kids back in school, but now we don’t even have that tool now we can’t even go virtual for the parents who don’t want to put a mask on,” he said.
When asked how he would proceed if a court strikes down his mask mandate, Hinojosa told The Hill last week that he was prepared to “plead.”
“If a court rules this weekend that I cannot enforce this, we cannot enforce this, I’m gonna plead with the people,” Hinojosa said. “I’m gonna say, ‘Look I have no authority. All I have to do is I’m gonna plead with you. You’ve complied for the last four days at 100 percent, Please, even though I don’t have the force of law behind me, please comply for everyone’s well-being.’ “