RRISD Fights To Keep Mask Mandate

Round+Rock+ISD+has+been+struggling+to+continue+its+mask+mandate+in+spite+of+the+restrictions+posed+by+government+officials.+

Photo By Alana True

Round Rock ISD has been struggling to continue its mask mandate in spite of the restrictions posed by government officials.

By Hannah McDonough, Reporter

As of Friday, Sept. 10, Attorney General Ken Paxton sued six Texas school districts including Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD) for enforcing mask mandates on their campuses despite Governor Greg Abbot banning mask mandates in schools in July.

About 85 school districts in Texas have disregarded Abbot’s ban, but only six were sued so far, including RRISD.

“Government officials are not making it any easier to stay safe,” Sophia Bednarz ‘24 said. “Mandating masks is for protection. Getting sued over it seems like some sort of petty joke.”

Paxton argued that school districts are violating the law by mandating masks, as Abbott prohibited mask mandates in an executive order. However, the Texas Education Agency has not required Texas school districts to be in compliance with Abbot’s executive order.

“I still feel uncomfortable sitting next to someone not wearing a mask,” June Jung ‘24 said. “I don’t think suing is the right mindset right now because we need to protect ourselves and even though a lot of us are vaccinated, the virus can mutate the more it affects people so masks are there to stop that.”

On Thursday, Sept. 16, a temporary restraining order was issued against RRISD’s mask mandate by Williamson County District Judge Rick Kennon. The decision resulted in mixed reactions. 

“I would be scared for my safety and others because if they allow people to go to school [without a mask mandate], a large majority of people wouldn’t wear masks and that would cause a large outbreak in school,” Mia Ippolito ‘23 said. 

However, on Friday, Sept. 17, the Third Court of Appeals sided with RRISD, meaning the mask mandate will continue on RRISD campuses. 

“The school is trying to keep their students and teachers safe,” Sritanvee Alluri ‘24 said. “[Mandating masks] is the best way that safety is achieved. These precautions are to also keep the school from having to close down.” 

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended wearing masks indoors for those over two years old, even for those who are fully vaccinated. RRISD used the guidance of county health officials and the CDC to decide whether to enforce a mask mandate. 

A mask mandate is still in place on RRISD campuses as of now.

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