TEXAS CITY, Texas – Texas City ISD is the latest school district in the Houston area to mandate face masks for everyone on school campuses.
In a special meeting Tuesday night, the school board voted in favor of a mask mandate for students and staff. It also applies to school buses.
Parents had mixed feelings about the mask mandate.
“I think it’s best for all children to wear a mask because you have a lot of them that are not vaccinated,” Natalie Lee said.
“I feel like it was too last minute they should have gave us more time, more preparation for it I disagree with it,” Percy Taylor said.
Texas City ISD says the mask mandate is part of the district’s dress code policy. School officials will provide masks for students who do not have one. If a student refuses to wear a mask, a parent will be called and the child must be picked up from school.
Rachel Raitano is a Texas City ISD parent and says her son was kicked out of Blocker Middle School because he refused to wear a mask. She recorded video of the incident and says face mask should be a choice.
“As a parent I feel as if he’s been violated in some sort of way. He’s not having that freedom of choice to do what he wants to do,” Raitano said.
In the video, Rachel tells school leaders that her son does not have to wear a mask because of Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order. John Raitano says it’s unfair.
“It makes me feel like I have no choice. I can’t do what I feel is right,” he said.
We reached out to the superintendent to ask what will happen if a student refuses to wear a mask regardless of the rules. We are told the superintendent will be available for comment Wednesday afternoon.
Rachel says she has to make an appointment with school leaders, but believes it should be a parents choice when it comes to wearing mask.
The district released the following statement on their Facebook page:
“At a special called board meeting tonight, the Texas City ISD Board voted that Texas City ISD will be mandating that masks be worn by everyone on school buses and within school facilities beginning on Aug. 18, 2021, until the level of positive cases warrants reconsideration. Disposable masks will be made available to anyone who does not have one. We apologize for the short notice. The district has been monitoring guidance from TEA and the Governor’s Executive Order as well as legal cases regarding masks in hopes that the state would allow districts to make a decision based on their community needs. The board believes this will assist in providing the safest learning environment possible for our students and staff. We appreciate your compliance with this mandate. Masks at outdoor school events are highly recommended.”
A few days ago, the district posted on its Facebook page that it would not implement a mask mandate and would be following Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order.
Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking the Texas Supreme Court to strike down all school mask mandates in the state of Texas.
Some parents were not happy about the timing of the decision.
“Absolutely not. This is underhanded and manipulative to do the night before so that you think parents have no choice. My children will be following the governor’s order,” one person said.
“Although this is very late notice, it is a great idea. Better late than never, thanks for thinking of our kid’s safety,” another person said.
Texas City is in Galveston County and the county judge has not issued a mask mandate like Harris and Fort Bend County.
Galveston ISD will have a mask mandate when they start school next week.