A Texas school district Tuesday changed its dress code in order to circumvent Gov. Greg Abbottâ€™s ban on mask mandates.
The Paris Independent School Districtâ€™s board of trustees voted to make the changes because it â€œbelieves the dress code can be used to mitigate communicable health issues, and therefore has amended the PISD dress code to protect our students and employees,â€ according to a post on itsÂ website. â€œThe Board believes the dress code can be used to mitigate communicable health issues, and therefore has amended the PISD dress code to protect our students and employees.â€
Abbottâ€˜sÂ executive orderÂ states that â€œno government entity, including a county, city, school district and public health authorityâ€ or â€œany public or private entity that is receiving or will receive public fundsâ€ will be able to require masks.
Failure to comply comes with a fine of up to $1,000, but private businesses are exempt from the order.
#BREAKING Paris ISD (Texas) will require masks as a part of their dress code after a Board of Trustees decision tonight. Are they the first to find a loophole in @GovAbbott's order about mask mandates? pic.twitter.com/FfB9HeecVh
— Jen Phillips (@jenphillipsnews) August 18, 2021
â€œThe Texas Governor does not have the authority to usurp the Board of Trusteesâ€™ exclusive power and duty to govern and oversee the management of the public schools of the district,â€ the Paris school district wrote. â€œNothing in the Governorâ€™s Executive Order 38 states he has suspended Chapter 11 of the Texas Education Code, and therefore the Board has elected to amend its dress code consistent with its statutory authority.â€
Chapter 11Â states that â€œthe board of trustees of an independent school district may adopt rules that require students at a school in the district to wear school uniforms if the board determines that the requirement would improve the learning environment at the school.â€
About 4,000 students are enrolled at the eight campuses in the school district about 100 miles northeast of Dallas, according to theÂ National Center for Education Statistics.
The state Supreme CourtÂ temporarily blockedÂ mask mandates on Monday, siding with Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton against Dallas and Bexar Counties.
AbbottÂ confirmedÂ he had tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as his state experiences a 44% surge in cases over the last 14 days, according toÂ The New York Timesâ€™ COVID-19 tracker.
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