‘We intend to follow the governor’s order’: Masks are not required at Grand Prairie ISD schools

‘We intend to follow the governor’s order’: Masks are not required at Grand Prairie ISD schools_60f5cffe37a9c.jpeg

The Grand Prairie Independent School District (ISD) stands behind Gov. Greg Abbott’s new executive order to get rid of the mask mandate in most government buildings, including schools, by June 4. 

For the last year, Abbott’s mask mandates have been up for debate. Despite this, the Grand Prairie ISD supports the governor’s motion to loosen mask rules in the fall. 

“Like the governor, one of our top priorities is the health and well-being of our students and staff, and we intend to follow the governor’s order,” Sam Buchmeyer, a public information officer for Grand Prairie ISD, said. “It actually aligns with what the Grand Prairie ISD was already planning for the upcoming school year.”

In July 2020, the governor passed a statewide mask mandate and urged all Texans to wear masks in the fight against COVID-19 as a way to keep the state open.

“We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another — and that means wearing a face-covering in public spaces,” he said in a statement released by his office at the time.

By March of 2021, Abbott lifted the statewide mask mandate and nominally prevented local governments from instituting their own mandates. However, several municipalities ignored him and stuck by their mandates.

“Under the new guidelines, the CDC says mask-wearing for fully vaccinated people is optional unless local laws require a mask,” as reported by ABC 13 News.

Additionally, as of May 17, Texas announced zero coronavirus deaths since March 2020.

Unlike his Florida counterpart, Gov. Ron. DeSantis, who Abbott has a history of being contrasted with, Abbott did not exempt schools from the new mask order. The order states that no one in schools will be mandated to wear a mask in the upcoming academic year.

“The Texas Education Agency shall revise the guidance such that, effective 11:59 p.m. on June 4, no student, teacher, parent or other staff member or visitor may be required to wear a face covering,” the order stated.

However, government-owned and operated hospitals, the Department of Criminal Justice, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, jails, state-supported living facilities are exempt from the order.

For all other government buildings, the order was set into effect on May 21. Anyone who fails to uphold the order could be fined $1,000.

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