A judge said Texas's ban on mask warrants violates the rights of students with disabilities.

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on mask warrants in Texas schools violated the rights of students with d...


A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on mask warrants in Texas schools violated the rights of students with disabilities, paving the way for districts across the state to issue their own rules for face coverings , a decision that could affect more than five million students.

The move comes after months of politicized disputes over state-level measures opposing mask-wearing policies that were intended to prevent the spread of Covid.

The lawsuit, which sought to overturn the warrant, was filed on behalf of several families of disabled students and the Texas Disability Rights organization. They said the defendants – State Attorney General Ken Paxton; Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath; and the Texas Education Agency – put students with disabilities at risk by removing mask warrants altogether.

The governor and some other state officials have argued that protection from the virus is a matter of personal responsibility.

Judge Lee Yeakel, who rendered the decision in the U.S. District Court action for the Western District of Texas, determined that the governor’s order violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 because it puts children with disabilities at risk.

The ruling also bars Mr Paxton from executing the order of Mr Abbott, who has repeatedly opposed the Covid-related warrants.

“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 require admission to a hospital and the hospital’s intensive care unit. “

The State Supreme Court has Many times allowed the governor’s ban to remain in effect, but the impact of Wednesday’s federal decision could ripple across the country in similar cases in other states.

Responding to the decision in a statement, Mr Paxton said he disagreed, adding that his office “is examining all legal avenues to challenge this decision.”

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

The lawsuit was first filed in August, at the start of the fall semester. Disability Rights Texas argued that school district leaders should make their own decisions about mask warrants based on the transmission of Covid in their area and the needs of their students.

The governor’s order, Judge Yeakel said, excluded “children with disabilities from participating and denied them the benefits of public school programs, services and activities to which they are entitled.”

Several school districts had changed or canceled their mask mandates since Mr Abbott’s order.

Mr Paxton sent letters to school district superintendents 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 warrants , according to court documents. On September 10, Mr. Paxton filed lawsuits against six school districts, according to the documents.

The Justice Department signaled its support for the lawsuit against the state in September, saying in a formal declaration that “even though 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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Newsrust - US Top News: A judge said Texas's ban on mask warrants violates the rights of students with disabilities.
A judge said Texas's ban on mask warrants violates the rights of students with disabilities.
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