By Jason Allen

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — Demonstrators walked past crowded restaurants and through Sundance Square plaza in the heart of downtown Fort Worth Saturday night, pushing for mandatory masks in schools.

Between chants of “protect our kids” and “no masks, no school,” they also targeted Board President Tobi Jackson, calling on her to have the school board vote on a mask rule.

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The demonstrations come after a week when the Fort Worth Independent School District joined a lawsuit against Governor Greg Abbott and his executive order preventing a mask mandate.

FWISD is still under a temporary restraining order, though, from 141st district court Judge John Chupp, after a group of parents filed to stop the district from enforcing a mask rule. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday in that case.

Gabriela Ruiz, a parent who attended the demonstration Saturday, said without a rule, students won’t keep masks on inside school buildings.

“Which is why the mandate is important. If you require them to wear masks, then they all have to wear masks,” Ruiz said.

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Her son started 7th grade this week, vaccinated and wearing a mask. He said not many others in his school were though, leaving him a bit uncomfortable during the first week.

“I would like to see more kids wearing masks and getting vaccinated,” he said.

The district reported more than 1,000 combined students and staff were absent the first week, either due to positive cases of COVID-19, or quarantining after exposure. A note on the district’s report said many of the positive cases and quarantines were from before school started Aug. 16.

Board Trustee Roxanne Martinez was part of the demonstration Saturday, organized by a group called FWISD4All. When asked if she would support a mask rule, even if it went against a local court order, she said she would advocate for what’s right for kids.

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“The thing with the law is that it, we’ve seen how much it’s been changing, just the dynamics have been changing over the past week,” she said.” So I think if we continue to advocate for what’s best for kids, we can hopefully convince community leaders and the people in leadership to do the same.”