Texas school district defies governor, tells students and staff to wear masks

Austin Independent School District joins Dallas Independent School District in defying Gov. Abbott's order against government mask mandates.

Updated: August 10, 2021 - 5:44pm

Masks will be required when school begins next week in the Austin Independent School District, contrary to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order.

Austin Independent School District Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde made the announcement Monday night at a school board meeting, Austin's NPR station reported. The mandate will go into effect on Wednesday, and also will apply to school buses.

While Elizalde said she knows not everyone will like the decision, "I am responsible for the safety, the health and the welfare of each and every one of our students and our staff. If I err, I must err on the side of ensuring that we have been overly cautious, not that we have fallen short."

The Dallas Independent School District also announced earlier Monday that it was implementing a mask mandate.

Abbott's executive order banning government-instituted vaccine and mask mandates says, "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 mandate that another person wear a face covering."

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