DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — August 10 marked the first day of the Dallas Independent School District‘s temporary mask mandate.
Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa defied Governor Greg Abbott’s orders — telling all teachers, students, staff, and parents that anyone on campus must wear face coverings until further notice.READ MORE: Amber Alert Issued For 12-Year-Old Girl Out Of Converse, Texas
“Now we’re at an urgent crisis,” Hinojosa said. “Despite any authority the governor has… he’s responsible for the state of Texas, I’m responsible for Dallas ISD.”
The superintendent made the move as Dallas County increased its COVID-19 threat level to red and new cases in the county continue to rise.
Dricka Dawson’s son is in kindergarten. She says she’s relieved the district enacted a mandate.READ MORE: COVID-19 Pandemic Has Taken A Toll On Mental Health, Led To More Drug Abuse, CDC Says
“I do believe it’s necessary with the increasing numbers of COVID-19,” Dawson said. “I think that would help secure a lot of staff and scholars from getting COVID-19.”
Even with nearly 90% of the staff at Turner Elementary vaccinated, Principal Natalie Crittendon says the mask mandate gives both the staff and students a needed extra level of protection.
“A huge weight [is] off my shoulders,” Crittendon said. “I breathed a sigh of relief on yesterday.”
There are approximately 150,000 students enrolled in 200 schools in Dallas and the majority of students return to school next week.MORE NEWS: US To Deport 'Massive' Number Of Haitian Migrants From Texas Border Town
So far Governor Abbott hasn’t commented on the order, but district leaders say they’re ready should any punishment be handed down.