Nov 10 (Reuters) – A federal decide overruled Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates in schools, clearing the trail for districts to situation their very own guidelines.
Judge Lee Yeakel of U.S. District Courtroom for the Western District of Texas dominated the governor’s order violated the Individuals with Disabilities Act, a landmark 1990 federal regulation that features protections for college students with particular wants. In his ruling, Yeakel stated the chief order put youngsters with disabilities in danger.
“The spread of COVID-19 poses an even greater risk for children with special health needs,” the decide stated in the order. “Children with certain underlying conditions who contract COVID-19 are more likely to experience severe acute biological effects and to require admission to a hospital and the hospital’s intensive-care unit.”
Texas Legal professional Basic Ken Paxton stated he “strongly disagreed” with the ruling.
“My agency is considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision,” Paxton stated on Twitter.
The difficulty of mandates to curb the pandemic has grow to be politicized in a lot of the US. Supporters of mandates say they’re wanted to struggle the COVID-19 pandemic, and opponents argue they curb particular person liberty.
Some faculty districts in conservative states the place governors have forbidden mask mandates are ignoring the bans, however others really feel compelled to implement them. In Texas, quite a few districts together with these in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, have flouted the ban because it was first introduced in Could, however others got here into compliance amid state strain together with a public listing revealed by Paxton’s workplace.
In his order, Yeakel stated the state couldn’t implement its ban on mask necessities in faculty, and likewise couldn’t levy fines or withhold funds from districts that impose mask-wearing.
The order was challenged by incapacity rights activists on behalf of a number of Texas college students with particular wants.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento; Enhancing by Tom Hogue and Raju Gopalakrishnan
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