Texas school gets around no mask mandate rule by updating dress code

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed an executive order banning mask mandates in the state, but a small school district has come up with a way to require masks but not go against Abbott’s declaration.

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Paris Independent School District is updating its dress code to set mask-wearing rules.

“The Board believes the dress code can be used to mitigate communicable health issues, and therefore has amended the PISD dress code to protect our students and employees,” the schools said in a statement, according to NBC News.

You can read the complete statement here.

>>Related: Coronavirus: Total US COVID-19 cases top 37 million

The board heard from employees, parents and medical professionals for more than an hour before they made the decision, The Paris News reported.

Some parents and employees asked to be able to make their own decisions whether children should wear masks in school, the newspaper reported.

Some parents said their children had mental health issues after being forced to wear masks.

At the time of the decision, there were 505 active cases in the health district where the school is located.

The amended dress code is temporary and will be revisited every month, The Paris News reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that students should be in class and recommends “universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.”

About 42% of 16 and 17-year-olds are fully vaccinated with 53% having at least one dose, The Wall Street Journal reported this week. The newspaper said about 31% of 12 to 15-year-olds are fully vaccinated and 43% have had their first shot.

The vaccines have not yet received approval for children under the age of 12, but vaccines may be approved for them by this fall, NPR reported.

For the most current CDC guidance for schools, click here.

Other school districts in the state are also wrestling with requiring masks in light of the governor’s order, NBC News reported.

>>Related: Coronavirus: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tests positive

As for Abbott, his office announced he has tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated, CNN reported.

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