The Texas State Teachers Association is urging Gov. Greg Abbott to allow schools to require masks when they reopen for the fall semester.
The plea comes as COVID-19 cases are rising across the state and after the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that everyone over the age of two wear a mask in school.
Mask mandates are currently against the law in Texas after Abbott issued an Executive Order in May stating that “no governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering...”
The policy went into effect for schools on June 5.
On Tuesday, TSTA President Ovidia Molina issued the following statement:
The Texas State Teachers Association calls on Gov. Greg Abbott to withdraw his prohibition on mask mandates and allow individual school districts to require mask use in their facilities if local officials believe masks will help protect the health of their communities as schools reopen for the fall semester.
Educators are eager to return to the classroom, but the pandemic is still dangerous. With COVID-19 cases increasing again and many people still unvaccinated, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that everyone older than 2 wear a mask when they go back to school. Children younger than 12 have not yet been approved for the COVID vaccine.
If Gov. Abbott really cares about the health and safety of Texas students, educators and their communities, he will give local school officials and health experts the option of requiring masks in their schools.