Texas AG Ken Paxton sues Galveston ISD, Spring ISD over mask mandates

Spring ISD students back in class

HOUSTON – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Friday that he filed lawsuits against multiple Texas school districts, including Spring Independent School District and Galveston Independent School District.

Both school districts defied Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order prohibiting public schools from mandating masks. At present, the districts are enforcing universal mask mandates.

Galveston ISD and Spring ISD are among the first Texas school districts to be sued by Paxton.

Friday, Paxton also filed suits against the Richardson, Round Rock, Elgin and Sherman school districts.

In a release, Paxton said he anticipates filing additional lawsuits against other school districts defying Abbott’s executive order.

“Not only are superintendents across Texas openly violating state law, but they are using district resources—that ought to be used for teacher merit raises or other educational benefits—to defend their unlawful political maneuvering,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “If districts choose to spend their money on legal fees, they must do so knowing that my office is ready and willing to litigate these cases. I have full confidence that the courts will side with the law – not acts of political defiance.”

Paxton’s office maintains a list of the government entities mandating masks in defiance of Abbott’s executive order. View the list here.

The Aldine, Angleton, Channelview, Galena Park, Houston, Longview and Texas City school district are among the Texas schools listed as non-compliant as of Friday evening.

Fort Bend and Harris Counties also appear on the list.

About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.