San Antonio school districts discuss punishment protocols for students who won’t wear face masks

The mask mandates came with great praise from some and outrage from others

SAN ANTONIO – Mask mandates are in place at three major San Antonio school districts -- San Antonio ISD, Northside ISD, and Northeast ISD.

The decisions came with great praise from some and outrage from others. With SAISD’s mandate already in place, and NISD and NEISD’s set to go into effect on Monday, Aug. 23, students will be required to wear masks on campus.

As for punishment for students who refuse to wear masks, this is what the districts had to say:

“We work with students and their parents, sharing the reasoning and science behind our mask mandate and our expectations for cooperation. We understand, of course, when there are medical reasons for some students not to wear a mask. For all other parents, we will continue to communicate with them as we work through to a solution,” SAISD officials said.

“Campuses will communicate with parents regarding any student not wearing a mask to discuss the expectation and we are hopeful that most situations will be resolved in this manner. However, students will be expected to adhere to the mandate while it is in place. I cannot spell out specific consequences because issues will be addressed based on individual circumstances,” Northside ISD officials said.

NEISD didn’t send a statement but explained its punishment protocol:

  • On Monday, Aug. 23, students will be offered a mask.
  • If the mask is denied, parents will be given the option to pick their child up from school.
  • If left to stay, the student will be separated and given work to do.
  • The process will be repeated until day four. If the student still does not wear a mask on the fourth day, they will be suspended for the day.
  • The process is started over after a one-day suspension is served.

One Northside ISD parent said, even if some disagree, the mask mandate policy is one all are expected to follow.

“It’s a policy. We all have rules at work, you know what I mean. We have to abide by them, and sometimes rules change in order to keep your job. It’s the same thing with school. You have to follow policy, whether you like it or not,” said Santiago Quintero, a father of two.

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About the Author:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.