Schools issue new guidance after court halts El Paso’s mask mandate
EL PASO, Texas — After the 8th Court of Appeals required El Paso’s City/County Health Authority to lift his indoor mask mandate for now, local school districts on Friday released new guidance for their students and employees.
Prior to Thursday night’s court decision, school districts in El Paso were enforcing the indoor mask mandate directive issued by Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza on Sept. 5.
School districts outlined to ABC-7 their action plans moving forward as follows:
- El Paso Independent School District: “The EPISD mask order remains in place under the authority of the Board of Trustees. The Board will be reviewing their decision at this moment.”
- Socorro Independent School District: An official with SISD says that the district is now transitioning to highly recommending mask wearing, instead of requiring it. The official said the action approved by the SISD board was to follow the Health Authority’s mandate while it was in effect, now it’s not.
- Ysleta Independent School District: Officials with YISD said in a statement that they “acknowledges the city’s notice that it was required by the 8th Court of Appeals to temporarily lift the indoor mask mandate. YISD will continue to abide by any order that is lawfully in effect and enforceable.”
- Canutillo Independent School District: Officials said their district “will continue to educate without interruption and adhere to all health and safety guidelines and protocols currently in place to keep out students, staff and teachers safe and healthy.”
El Paso parents also reacted to the court’s lifting of the mask mandate.
Normal Ornelas said that students should continue to wear masks in schools because children don’t know how to take care of themselves. “We are still in a pandemic, not everyone is vaccinated, so I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
Another parent, Olga Cordero, stated that she believes students will not want to wear masks because of peer pressure. “No. I don’t think kids are going to like want to wear it because they are going to want to look cool and it’s not very comfortable and they see other kids not wearing them, so they are probably not going to wear it.”
The Health Authority continues to encourage people to use masks indoors and in crowded spaces. He also urges everyone to wash their hands and watch your distance.
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