Texas School District Works Masks Into The Dress Code To Bypass Ban

by Valerie Williams

A Texas school district found a creative way around Governor Abbott’s ridiculous mask mandate ban

Several southern states are loud and proud about protecting a parent’s right to decide what clothing items go on their child’s body when it comes to wearing masks to slow the spread of COVID. Florida, Texas, and South Carolina all have governors banning mask mandates in schools on the grounds that whether a child wears a mask should be up to their parent. Those same schools usually have no problem forcing students to abide by a dress code, which politicians see no need to ban, so that’s how one Texas school district is circumventing Governor Greg Abbott’s ridiculous mask mandate ban.

The Paris school district has found a work-around to Abbott’s dangerous ban on mask mandates in his state’s schools and on Tuesday, announced that its board of trustees voted to change the district’s dress code for its students to include the use of face masks. I mean, that’s honestly brilliant.

“The Texas Governor does not have the authority to usurp the Board of Trustees’ exclusive power and duty to govern and oversee the management of the public schools of the district,” their release reads. “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.”

Just this once I’m going to say that I love dress codes. At least if the governor decides to outlaw those too our daughters can stop being scrutinized and humiliated over an extra inch of exposed shoulder. There are only wins here.

According to Newsweek, the district explained in another release that “students will be given mask breaks throughout the day and will not be required to wear masks when they are able to social distance,” and announced that the “Board of Education will revisit the mask mandate at the September 9, 2021 regularly scheduled board meeting.”

Paris schools are doing the right thing but plenty of districts aren’t. To that end, some brilliant parents are speaking out including a mom from Tennessee who pointed out that as long as parents can “opt out” of having their kids wear masks while in school, she can “opt out” of having her daughter obey the dress code. Check and mate, my friend. I might use this one myself.

It’s becoming more clear each day that schools forgoing masks will mean more kids and staff getting sick. News coming from districts in Florida, where the governor has enacted a ban similar to Abbott’s is not good. One district in Hillsborough already has thousands of kids in quarantine and the school year has barely begun.

Hopefully, school districts like Paris who boldly find ways to defy a governor’s mask mandate bans will see lower numbers of cases and have hope for a somewhat “normal” school year.