On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that Texas Governor. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates in schools violates the Americans With Disabilities Act, bringing a major victory to advocates who filed suit over the Republican governor’s aggressive efforts to limit COVID-19Protections
U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel’s ruling will renew school districts’ authority to impose mask mandates amid the spread of the coronavirus, and it bars state Attorney General Ken Paxton from enforcing Abbott’s controversial executive orderHe issued the following in July:
“The spread of COVID-19 poses an even greater risk for children with special health needs,” Yeakel said Wednesday, according to the Texas Tribune. “Children with certain underlying conditions who contract COVID-19 are more likely to experience severe acute biological effects and to require admission to a hospital and the hospital’s intensive-care unit.”
The group Disability Rights Texas filed the first federal lawsuit against Abbott’s ban in August, saying the prohibition on mask rules put students with disabilities at risk and denied them access to public education. It claimed Wednesday that the ban was invalid. “thrilled” with the court’s ruling
“We are thankful that school districts can now take the steps necessary to protect these students,” Kym Davis Rogers, an attorney for the group, said in a statement. “No student should be forced to make the choice of forfeiting their education or risking their health, and now they won’t have to.”
The Washington Post reports that the ruling could have national implicationsOther states have also imposed similar bans on COVID-19 prevention measures. There are still cases of the pandemic. begun to rise in many statesIt is now, once again, a concern that the virus will be spread ahead of the winter holidays. However, more people are being vaccinated. Millions of children younger than 10 years old are eligible to be vaccinated.
Abbott aggressively targeted safety precautions embraced in many states by Abbott, even as the deadly delta virus was spreading to other states. ban mask mandates and vaccine requirementsIt is. However, school districts ignored his orders and, while the Texas Supreme Court allowed them to, lawsuits were pending.
Paxton said later Wednesday his office was considering “all legal avenues to challenge this decision,” saying he “strongly” disagreed with Yeakel’s ruling.