A judge says Texas’ ban on mask mandates violates the rights of students with disabilities.

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  4 weeks ago  •  16 comments

By:   Eduardo Medina NYT

A judge says Texas’ ban on mask mandates violates the rights of students with disabilities.
A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates in Texas schools violates the rights of students with disabilities, clearing the path for districts in the state to issue their own rules for face coverings, a decision that could affect more than five million students.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



A judge says Texas’ ban on mask mandates violates the rights of students with disabilities.

10virus-briefing-texas-schools-photo-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale

Students wearing their school-required masks waiting for their parents outside Lamar Elementary School in San Antonio in August.Credit...Matthew Busch for The New York Times

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A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates in Texas schools violates the rights of students with disabilities, clearing the path for districts in the state to issue their own rules for face coverings, a decision that could affect more than five million students.

The ruling comes after months of politicized disputes over measures at the state level opposing mask-wearing policies that had been intended to prevent the spread of Covid. The lawsuit, which sought to overturn the mandate, was filed on behalf of several families of students with disabilities and the organization Disability Rights Texas. They stated that the defendants — the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton; the commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, Mike Morath; and the Texas Education Agency — had put students with disabilities at risk through their complete erasure of mask mandates.
The governor and some other state officials have maintained that protecting against the virus is a matter of personal responsibility.

Judge Lee Yeakel, who made the ruling in the suit filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, determined that the order from the governor violated the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act because it put children with disabilities at risk. The ruling also prohibits Mr. Paxton from enforcing the order by Mr. Abbott, who has repeatedly opposed Covid-related mandates.

“The spread of Covid-19 poses an even greater risk for children with special health needs,” Judge Yeakel said. “Children with certain underlying conditions who contract Covid-19 are more likely to experience severe acute biological effects and to require admission to a hospital and the hospital’s intensive-care unit.”

The State Supreme Court has repeatedly allowed the governor’s ban to remain in effect, but the impact of Wednesday’s federal ruling could ripple across the country in similar cases in other states.
Responding to the ruling in a statement, Mr. Paxton said that he disagreed, adding that his office was “considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision.”

Mr. Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday night. Mr. Morath office also did not immediately respond.

The lawsuit was first filed in August, at the onset of the fall semester. Disability Rights Texas argued that school district leaders should make their own decisions about mask mandates based on the Covid transmission in their area and on their students’ needs. The order from the governor, Judge Yeakel said, excluded “disabled children from participating in and denies them the benefits of public schools’ programs, services, and activities to which they are entitled.”

Several school districts had altered or undone their mask mandates since Mr. Abbott’s order.
Mr. Paxton sent letters to superintendents of school districts threatening them with “legal action by his office to enforce the governor’s order and protect the rule of law,” if they did not rescind their mask mandates, according to court documents. On Sept. 10, Mr. Paxton filed lawsuits against six school districts, the documents show.

The Justice Department signaled support for the lawsuit against the state in September, saying in a formal statement that “even if their local school districts offered them the option of virtual learning,” the ban still violated the rights of students with disabilities.


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago

Better late than never. 

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.1  Ozzwald  replied to  JohnRussell @1    4 weeks ago
Better late than never.

Didn't a judge in Florida say the same thing about DeSantis' attempt to block school mask mandates as well?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1    4 weeks ago

Although it is not directly related to this seed , I just saw something on video that I want to comment on. 

Eric Bolling, formerly a prominent Fox News host (The Five) , is now on Newsmax. A few days ago he called Sesame Street "communist" , this time because the Big Bird character tells kids to get vaccinated. 

This demonstrates that conservative objection to the vaccine, or masks, is not on principle, but rather a part of their culture war strategy to win elections. 

A couple months ago one of the right wingers here told me that no conservatives yell "communist". Then , now, and always , this is of course not true. 

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.1.2  Ozzwald  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    4 weeks ago
This demonstrates that conservative objection to the vaccine, or masks, is not on principle, but rather a part of their culture war strategy to win elections. 

Which, if you think about it, is one of the most asinine strategies ever devised.  Their strategy to win elections is to kill off as many of their voters as possible.......  I mean seriously, it sounds like a Trump strategy.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.2    4 weeks ago

If one truly thinks about it, one would know that such claims as this is a "strategy" is ludicrous at best and downright hilarious!

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.1.4  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.3    4 weeks ago

If one truly thinks about it, one would know that such claims as this is a "strategy" is ludicrous at best and downright hilarious!

And yet, republican governors are doing it.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
1.1.5  Ender  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    4 weeks ago

I sometimes think that his whole anti-mask mandate thing was all for political theatre.

Knowing it wouldn't stand, do it anyway for press, standing, and he can say he was doing something.

Fodder for the base.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.4    4 weeks ago

Ludicrous, as stated previously!

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
1.1.7  Jack_TX  replied to  Ender @1.1.5    4 weeks ago
I sometimes think that his whole anti-mask mandate thing was all for political theatre.

Knowing it wouldn't stand, do it anyway for press, standing, and he can say he was doing something.

Fodder for the base.

Take out the "sometimes".

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
1.1.8  Gordy327  replied to  Ender @1.1.5    4 weeks ago

Anti mask mandates is probably politically motivated, playing off people's emotions or stupidity. 

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.1.9  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.6    4 weeks ago

Ludicrous, as stated previously!

And yet, republican governors are doing it, as stated previously.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.10  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.9    3 weeks ago

You should probably read more. This is not some "strategy" despite some leftwing nutjobs thinking it is.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.1.11  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.10    3 weeks ago

You should probably read more. This is not some "strategy" despite some leftwing nutjobs thinking it is.

And yet, republican governors are doing it, as stated previously, previously.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.12  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.11    3 weeks ago

A good place for you to start would be to have someone explain what the word "strategy" means.

Or just Google it all on your own.

BTW, ever figure out who appointed Durham?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     4 weeks ago

Finally.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
3  Perrie Halpern R.A.    4 weeks ago

I read this earlier on in the day, and I have to say, that I am glad to see this happen. I find it ironic that we have people who are up in arms claiming that parents have no rights with what their kids are taught (they do, and if they don't like the school board they can vote them out), but they can't decide on local policy on masks. Ironic no?

 
 
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