Texas Education Agency Releases New Guidance for Public Schools In Texas
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Late yesterday the Texas Education Agency released new guidance for public schools in Texas. Part of this guidance acknowledges that Governor Greg Abbotts Executive Order GA-38 is in place and allows the TEA to issue rules and guidance consistent with his order to our schools.
Included in the newly issued guidance is a section regarding masks in our schools. It states, “Please note, mask provisions of GA-38 are not being enforced as the result of ongoing litigation. Further guidance will be made available after the court issues are resolved.”
As you know, a few counties and school districts have initiated lawsuits against the Governor to be able to issue mask mandates. Some have outright defied the Governors order and issued their own mandates. In both instances neither have legal grounds to do so and those cases are still pending before the courts.
Let me be abundantly clear. Regardless of your argument for or against mask mandates. We are a nation of laws and we must respect our Constitution and the rule of law at every level. The Texas Supreme Court, the highest court in this state, has yet to issue a final ruling on these pending court cases. The TEA guidance simply stated that they would wait on the sideline until a final ruling of the court has been issued. This does not mean they have supported or issued guidance allowing for mandated masks in our schools. Because until the court has issued a ruling the Governors Executive order is in full effect and per statute has the full effect and weight of law in this state.
Any district issuing a mask mandate at this time would be doing so prematurely and without legal authority to do so. Blatantly defying the Governors order and teaching our kids that the respect for our judicial system and the rule of law is irrelevant. This is not the right message to be sending our kids.
Nothing in any order or law prevents any parent or child from wearing a facemask while at school or on the school bus. In fact, while I have not issued or supported forced mask mandates, I have fully supported your individual right to take personal responsibility and wear a mask if you choose.
No county or state can maintain a rule of law society if its people do not respect the law and the process by which legal disagreements go through our judicial branch. The very nature of our existence is predicated on this fact and we must protect the rule of law from erosion. Teaching our children that is normal to defy the rule of law and ignore personal responsibilities is dangerous and leads to the tragic scenes we see out of places like Chicago.
With regard to forced mask mandates, I preserved, protected and defended the Constitution and laws of this state and these United States, and will not back down now.