A federal judge is being asked by parents of disabled children to stop a ban on mask mandates by a governor in a Southern state. They claim it discriminates against the students as well as violating their civil rights.
Federal Judge and Disability Rights Group
Representing seven students is Disability Rights Texas. This would also include one from a local regional school district and another in the ISD, in a federal lawsuit against Governor Texas Greg Abbott.
Moreover, the group is saying the ban does prevent school leaders from offering what is being reasonable accommodations for disabled students.
Plaintiff’s attorneys, as a result of the ban, said the students have been blocking access to education programs and services. That is because they need to wear masks for their safety.
Part of the lawsuit includes the Texas Education Agency and its commissioner, Mike Morath.
The supervising attorney with Disability Rights Texas is Dustin Rynders.
“Moreover, the Texas Education Agency is putting out guidance. Moreover, they call it health guidance. In fact, they don’t know what it should have been really calling. However, their health guidance has said you can’t have masks or mandates in public schools. This is right after TEA put out that guidance. This is what the districts said last year. We are getting rid of it,” he said.
Federal Judge is Asking to Prevent the Ban
Judge Lee Yeakel is being asked by Disability Rights attorneys to preventing the TEA and the Office of Attorney General from sharing the information and enforcing the ban.
The Attorney General’s Office of school districts said that the Plaintiff’s attorneys’ claim is that they are allegedly in violation of the governor’s order.
The AG’s office has sent letters to districts that threaten legal action as a result. In fact, some school officials have canceled the mask mandates.
Two agencies were, in fact, just sharing public information, Kercher said.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has data that the defendants’ attorneys have used to show the two school districts with no mask mandates that they did not have greatly higher COVID-19 positivity rates.