A federal judge(G.W. Bush) has ordered a halt to Texas’ efforts to ban mask mandates in state schools.
U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel ruled in Austin that the ban ordered by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott violated a federal law protecting disabled students’ access to public education.
Wednesday’s ruling comes as the United States is seeing another upward trend of coronavirus cases in many states. The Texas ruling could have implications for other states with similar bans in place.
The lawsuit, which sought to overturn the mandate, was filed on behalf of several families of students with disabilities and the organization Disability Rights Texas. They stated that the defendants — the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton; the commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, Mike Morath; and the Texas Education Agency — had put students with disabilities at risk through their complete erasure of mask mandates.
“The spread of Covid-19 poses an even greater risk for children with special health needs,” Judge Yeakel said. “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.”