Let me be clear: Any state that prevents school districts from mandating masks for students and teachers is displaying extreme indifference to human life and public health, as well as overriding local control of schools. In my view, every state should mandate masking when indoors in public spaces.

The Los Angeles Times reported that most states are leaving the mask decisions to school districts but eight Republican-led states have banned mask mandates, prohibiting districts from protecting those in their schools.

More than 30 states have left the decision up to school districts. At least 10 states, including California, plus the District of Columbia, require all students and teachers to wear masks in public schools.

But eight mostly Republican-controlled states — Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Utah — have enacted laws or issued executive orders prohibiting school districts from requiring students to wear masks.

CNN reported the latest development in Texas, where the highly contagious Delta variant is filling hospitals.
The Texas Supreme Court, undoubtedly dominated by conservative governors like Abbott and Rick Perry, just endorsed Abbott’s efforts to undermine public health in schools. Why do “conservatives” take such reckless, radical actions that put the lives of students and school staff at risk?

The Texas Supreme Court sided with Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday in a ruling that temporarily blocks mask mandates recently issued in San Antonio and Dallas, though local officials said they will continue to enforce at least a portion of the mask mandates.The Texas high court granted stay orders Sunday, but previously scheduled hearings on local mask mandates in lower courts in Bexar and Dallas counties will proceed as scheduled.The ruling is the latest in a series of conflicts across the state — and the country — over mask mandates as coronavirus cases surge and schools gear up for reopening while students younger than 12 still aren’t ineligible for a Covid-19 vaccine.

Abbott issued an executive order last month that barred governmental entities, including school districts, from requiring mask wearing. Officials in Dallas and Bexar counties, which includes San Antonio, requested restraining orders against enforcement of Abbott’s order, which were granted.

Two Texas judges issue temporary restraining orders against governor’s mask mandate order Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Friday he appealed the lower court rulings to the Texas Supreme Court and tweeted after the court decision Sunday, “Let this ruling serve as a reminder to all ISDs and Local officials that the Governor’s order stands.”

Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, however, said the court’s ruling does not pertain to his district, even as Paxtonmentioned the Dallas ISD in his tweet.