On Aug. 23, the Fort Bend ISD board of trustees issued a mask mandate, that after a few days had to be removed due to Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning such mandates.
However, on Nov. 10 a federal judge overturned Abbott’s executive order-saying it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act-allowing school districts to re-enforce their mask mandates, as reported by ABC 13 News.
Leaving the board of trustees with a decision to make.
“The board of trustees needs to provide guidance regarding whether it should begin implementation of our mask mandate previously approved or if it wishes to discontinue this mandate,” Board President Dave Rosenthal said.
At a meeting on Nov. 15, the FBISD voted 6-0, to remove the previously issued mask mandate, leaving masks optional in district school and facilities.
During public comment, 12 people spoke in favor of keeping masks optional, saying the decision was for the individual’s family to make. While, on the contrary, 4 speakers advocated in favor of reinstating the mask mandate, claiming children were still getting vaccinated and the district should not ease up preventive measures.
On Nov. 12, Fort bend county decreased its COVID-19 risk level from orange to yellow because of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continued to decline.
As reported by ABC 13 News, Trustee Judy Dae called on Superintendent Christie Whitbeck and district leadership to find creative ways to support the teachers during this challenging year.
“I think it’s time to move forward and put this mask issue behind us,” Dae said, after stating her decision on the mask mandate was based on COVID-19 data and what she felt was right for students.