DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas ISD’s superintendent said Sunday evening that the district will keep its face mask mandate despite a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court on Sunday that blocked Dallas County’s order.
The Texas Supreme Court on Sunday issued an emergency stay on a temporary restraining order by Dallas County against Gov. Greg Abbott’s order that bans mask mandates. Sunday’s decision effectively blocked an executive order signed county Judge Clay Jenkins last Wednesday that required masks inside schools and businesses.
However, Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said the district will keep its mandate, claiming the order applied to Dallas County and not the school district.
— Caroline Vandergriff (@c_vandergriff) August 16, 2021
Hinojosa said he talked with attorneys throughout Sunday afternoon and that they believe the order currently doesn’t apply to them.
Some Dallas ISD students have already been in classrooms since earlier this month. The rest of the district’s students return to school Monday, Aug. 16.
Hinojosa added that the district will keep its mandate until a court specifically orders it to stop. “Stay tuned. This is not over,” Hinojosa said.
Other Dallas County school districts like Irving, Garland and Mesquite announced Sunday evening that they would get rid of their mask mandates in order to follow the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling.
“This afternoon, the Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocked the masks requirement mandate issued by Dallas County last week, which affects our public schools in Irving. Irving ISD will adhere to the Supreme Court’s decision until further guidance on the matter is provided,” the district said in a tweet.
“Now, Mesquite ISD’s obligation under the law is to fall back to the Governor’s order. Effective Monday, Aug. 16, masks will not be required in our buildings. However, in the strongest terms possible, MISD urges all students and staff members to wear masks as a precaution to protect others from the spread of COVID-19,” Mesquite ISD said in a statement.
Hinojosa was asked about the other Dallas County school districts rescinding their mandates.
“Some of these districts only did it because it was an order from Clay Jenkins and the county… We did it because we thought it was the right thing to do from the beginning. And that’s a huge difference,” he said.