The Dallas Independent School District announced Monday it will require masks for everyone on its campuses, despite an executive order from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).
The announcement was made by Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa, who cited the increase in coronavirus cases as his reason for the mask implementation, which will take effect Tuesday.
“On June 18 when we ended school, there were only 103 new cases in Dallas County,” Hinojosa said. “Currently, as of last Friday, there are 820 new cases. More importantly, medical professionals at UT Southwestern project that by Aug. 23 we will have 2,000 new cases per day.”
According to Hinojosa, “safety protocols” like a mask mandate for those on the district’s school campuses, regardless of vaccination status, will work to ensure the “safety of our students, staff and families.”
Laredo, Texas, officials have ordered masks for ages five and older in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. https://t.co/FN9bE6EUkD
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 3, 2020
“As the superintendent of the second-largest district in Texas, I’m responsible for everything, most importantly, the safety of our students and staff and families,” Hinojosa added. “I need to implement whatever safety protocols I feel are in the best interest of our school district.”
In addition, Hinojosa noted the Dallas County’s red zone status, a color-coded warning system used by the county to guide public activities, which is now at its most restrictive level.
“Over the weekend, we just got to this point where I felt now we’re an urgent crisis,” Hinojosa said, adding he is not concerned about legal penalties enacted by Gov. Abbott.
“That executive order is very loose, according to our attorneys,” Hinojosa said. “But I’d rather face that consequence of having to pay some money than to be getting further behind with these students.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Tuesday announced he is banning local governments from imposing mask mandates, exacting a fine of up to $1,000 on localities and officials defying the order. https://t.co/u2brqJO7HY
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 19, 2021
In May, Abbott announced he would be banning local governments from imposing mask mandates, leaving those who defy his order to pay a fine of up to $1,000.
The executive order, which took effect on May 21, prohibits localities — including counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities, or government officials — from mandating that individuals wear a mask.
According to the governor’s office, exceptions include “state-supported living centers, government-owned or operated hospitals, Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities, Texas Juvenile Justice Department facilities, and county and municipal jails.”