The Paris Independent School District has made masks part of its dress code in an attempt to get around the May 18 2021 mask mandate ban instituted by Governor Greg Abbott.
"For health reasons, masks are required for all employees and students to mitigate flu, cold, pandemic, and any other communicable diseases," says the resolution, which passed by a five-to-one margin.
According to local outlet The Paris News, the board will continue to meet every month to decide if they need to renew the measure, depending on how the situation unfolds.
"The Texas Governor does not have the authority to usurp the Board of Trustees' exclusive power and duty to govern and oversee the management of the public schools of the district."
"Nothing in the Governor'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."
"Shame on you," commented one parent as he left the premises after the vote's results were announced. He wasn't alone, as many people argued both side of the issue that day.
Many of the teachers involved raised concerns that the masks were a distraction for the students, and especially affect the ability of many special-needs children to learn effectively.
Others, including Trustee Clifton Fendley, who cast the lone dissenting vote, claimed that they felt it was immoral to use the letter of the law to try and disobey a state-wide order, and that this was setting a bad example for the children and all concerned.
A Houston school district is also planning to issue its own mask mandate in a similar fashion.