HOUSTON (KXAN) — In direct defiance of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on mask requirements in public schools, Houston Independent School District has announced it will mandate masks for students and staff in the new school year.
According to KPRC Houston, Houston is the latest big-city district to make the move, joining Dallas ISD, which announced its temporary mandate on Monday, and Fort Worth ISD, which decided Tuesday. Austin ISD also says it will require masking at all campuses and district facilities starting Wednesday.
KPRC reporter Syan Rhodes reports Houston ISD Superintendent Millard House II said Wednesday that the mask mandate would be treated the same way as the district’s dress code policies. Additionally, students who refuse will face disciplinary action.
While HISD was set to vote on the measure Thursday, House said Wednesday that board members explained they’d unanimously support it.
On Monday, Safe Schools for All, a group of over 100 Austin ISD parents, students and teachers, rallied to demand the district implement the mandate. The meeting included a parent, who also urged the district as both a mother and a pediatrician.
Meanwhile, former Austin city attorney Mike Siegel directed a message to the Austin ISD board: that Safe Schools for All would support the board if they faced any financial or legal penalties.