A federal judge said Wednesday that the Texas government. Greg Abbott’s ban on the requirement of masks in schools violates the American With Disabilities Act, bringing a major victory to supporters who filed suit for the Republican governor’s aggressive efforts to curtail COVID-19 protections.
United States District Court Judge Lee Yeakel’s dominant will renew school districts’ authority to impose masking warrants amid the spread of coronavirus and prevent State Attorney General Ken Paxton from enforcing Abbott controversial executive order, which issued in July.
“The spread of COVID-19 poses an even greater risk to children with special health needs,” Yeakel said on Wednesday. according to the Texas Tribune. “Children with certain underlying conditions who contract COVID-19 are more likely to experience severe acute biological effects and to require hospitalization and hospital ICU.”
Disability Rights Texas filed the first federal lawsuit against Abbott’s ban in August, saying the ban on the rules on masks puts students with disabilities at risk and denies them access to public education. The group said Wednesday it was “Enthusiastic” about the court ruling.
“We are grateful that school districts can now take the necessary steps to protect these students,” Kym Davis Rogers, an attorney for the group, said in a statement. “No student should be forced to make the choice to give up their education or risk their health, and now they won’t have to.”
The Washington Post notes that the ruling it could have national implications in other states where Republican officials have imposed similar bans on measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic is not over and the cases are it began to grow in many states once again ahead of the winter holidays, arousing renewed concern about the virus. However, far more people are being vaccinated and millions of younger children are eligible for vaccinations again.
Abbott aggressively targeted security measures taken by many other states, even amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the virus, by moving to ban mask mandates and vaccine requirements. However, the school districts misrepresented his order, and the Texas Supreme Court had allowed them to do so as lawsuits worked their way through the system.
Paxton said later Wednesday that his office was considering “all legal avenues to challenge this decision,” saying it was “strongly” in disagreement with Yeakel’s ruling.