Texas AG Ken Paxton sues at least 6 schools districts over mask rules — more lawsuits could come

Texas

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing at least six school districts that are defying Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates in public schools. At least two of the districts are in Central Texas.

The school systems, listed below, are named across three lawsuits Paxton filed Friday. The bolded districts are the ones located within KXAN’s viewing area.

  • Richardson ISD
  • Round Rock ISD (Travis/Williamson Counties)
  • Galveston ISD
  • Elgin ISD (Bastrop County)
  • Spring ISD
  • Sherman ISD

Abbott in May issued an executive order barring local officials and school districts from requiring masks in public schools. Many school systems across the state decided to go ahead with mask rules anyways, requiring staff, students and visitors to wear a face covering indoors in district facilities.

Paxton’s office sent letters out to districts that were still enforcing mask mandates, threatening them with legal action. Eanes ISD received one of those letters, which explained school leaders could chose to either repeal their mask rules or not enforce them, until further decisions from Texas courts could be made.

Paxton’s office says more lawsuits against school districts and governmental entities who defy Abbott’s executive order could be coming.

“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 said in a press release Friday.

Paxton has a full list of school districts and local governments not in compliance with Abbott’s orders online. In the list, he pointed out which districts he’s threatened with legal action, which districts he’s filed lawsuits against and which districts he’s in active litigation with.

At least 13 Central Texas entities are listed:

  • Austin Community College
  • Austin ISD – listed as currently not in compliance; threatened with letter from Texas AG Office
  • Del Valle ISD – listed as currently not in compliance; threatened with letter from Texas AG Office
  • Eanes ISD – listed as currently not in compliance; threatened with letter from Texas AG Office
  • Elgin ISD – lawsuit filed against by Texas AG Office
  • IDEA Public Schools
  • Leander ISD – listed as currently not in compliance; threatened with letter from Texas AG Office
  • Lockhart ISD – listed as currently not in compliance; threatened with letter from Texas AG Office
  • Manor ISD – listed as currently not in compliance; threatened with letter from Texas AG Office
  • Pflugerville ISD – listed as currently not in compliance; threatened with letter from Texas AG Office
  • Round Rock ISD – lawsuit filed against by Texas AG Office
  • San Marcos CISD – listed as currently not in compliance; threatened with letter from Texas AG Office
  • Travis County – listed as currently not in compliance; threatened with letter from Texas AG Office

Paxton also listed school systems and local governments that once had a mask mandate but have now repealed or stopped enforcing those rules to follow Abbott’s orders. At least three Central Texas entities were named in that category: Dripping Springs ISD, Hays County and Marble Falls ISD.

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