By Caroline Vandergriff

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A group of parents are suing three North Texas school districts for not mandating masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

“We have no other choice but to pursue this legal action,” said Brody Mulligan, a Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD parent.

The federal lawsuit against the Frisco, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, and Grapevine-Colleyville school districts – along with a school system outside Austin – alleges the districts are violating students’ civil rights under the 14th Amendment by failing to protect them during the pandemic.

We are terrified,” said Stacey Silverman, a Grapevine-Colleyville ISD parent. “Every day we get emails our daughter’s been in close contact. Every day, another teacher and several students have COVID. And this school board will not even bring masking to a vote.”

The parents in the lawsuit say without a mask requirement at their schools, their children are at an increased risk for contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to others.

“The administration and trustees have accepted the politicization of the pandemic and call it a personal choice while our community members are dying,” Kathleen Thompson, another Grapevine-Colleyville ISD parent.

They hope legal action forces the school districts to do more to protect students.

“We aren’t asking for anything extraordinary,” Mulligan said. “We’re asking for the bare and basic minimum of protection to keep our schools open.”

The attorney for the parents expects to have a hearing in federal court in the next week or two.

All of the North Texas districts named in the lawsuit declined to comment because of the pending litigation.

Caroline Vandergriff