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Texas School District Uses Dress Code to Get Around Governor's Mask Mandate Ban

Texas School District Uses Dress Code to Get Around Governor's Mask Mandate Ban
Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images

The state of Texas continues to be inundated with cases of the virus that's killed over 600 thousand Americans, but its Republican governor Greg Abbott—who recently tested positive for the virus himself—has been a constant bulwark against even the most basic of safety precautions.

Not only has Abbott threatened to revoke the liquor license of any restaurant or bar that tries to implement vaccine passports in its private establishment, but Abbott has also banned schools from instituting mask mandates, despite the proven effectiveness of masks in slowing the spread of the virus.

The ban comes as the Delta variant wreaks havoc across the nation, prompting an uptick in cases among children, especially those under 12, who remain ineligible for vaccination.

Abbott's executive order said that no government institution, including Texas public schools, could implement mask mandates, but one county is getting creative.

Paris, Texas has a population of only around 25 thousand, but it currently has around 3 thousand confirmed cases of the virus. As a result, the board of trustees for the Paris Independent School District (PISD) is requiring masks as part of the district's dress code, citing Chapter 11 of the Texas Education Code, which endows districts with ultimate jurisdiction over their schools.

A note on the district's website read:

"The Board [of Trustees] believes the dress code can be used to mitigate communicable health issues, and therefore has amended the PISD dress code to protect our students and employees."

Social media users praised the creative workaround of the reckless policy.

Others found it pathetic the district had to go to such lengths in the first place.