Parents raise concerns after Comal ISD board members vote to make mask-wearing optional

Parents say meeting notification was vague

Parents have started a petition urging that the board reconsider its position on the issue.

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – Comal Independent School District board members gathered Tuesday to discuss the use of face masks after Gov. Greg Abbott rescinded the state’s mask mandate. They decided in a 5 to 2 vote, making the use of a face-covering optional for students and staff members.

Some parents say they weren’t upset about the meeting’s outcome but rather that they weren’t included in the decision-making.

Comal ISD Trustee Marty Bartlett said notifications were sent out to parents well in advance and mentioned there was availability for public comment, yet no one signed up.

Mona Ramirez, who is a Comal ISD parent, said the problem was the notification was vague. The notice stated at the very least a consideration and possible approval regarding COVID-19 protocols. The conclusion and outcome of the meeting were emailed later, catching parents like Lisa Spaar by surprise.

“I would have at least liked to have my voice heard or just been given a questionnaire or a survey or something to ask a parent what our first choice would be,” Spaar said.

New Braunfels ISD, which has students who reside within Comal County, has decided to abide by the Texas Education Agency guidance, requiring students and staff to wear face coverings while on school campuses.

Unlike Comal ISD, New Braunfels ISD asked parents and staff members to participate in a thought exchange where they were allowed to contribute their preferences on continuing the face mask mandate.

Ramirez has since started a petition to get Comal ISD board members to reconsider their decision. The petition has collected more than 1,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.

Comal ISD giving parents and teachers the option to wear masks at school

About the Authors:

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT's Good Morning San Antonio. Jonathan speaks English and Spanish and is a veteran of the United States Navy. Previously, he worked in South Texas.