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Texas Judge Blocks Greg Abbott’s Ban On School Mask Mandate



Texas judge on Tuesday issued a restraining order preventing the enforcement of Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) ban on mask mandates in schools, ABC affiliate KSAT reports.

According to the station, Bexar County Civil District Court Judge Toni Arteaga approved the order just hours after leaders from San Antonio and Bexar County filed a challenge.

The ruling county and city school officials to require masks in public schools until an additional decision is made on Abbott’s executive order on Monday, according to KSAT.

“I don’t do this lightly,” Arteaga said in court, noting that ​​comments from the San Antonio medical director “weighed heavily” in her decision, as well as the fact that the school year has already started for students in many areas across the state.

“And those under 12 of course, as you know, don’t have access to the vaccine, and they’re already in school,” the judge added, according to The Washington Post.

“So I do find that this is emergent, I do find that it is necessary,” she added.

The city of San Antonio and Bexar County filed the lawsuit earlier Tuesday asking the court to put a temporary hold on Abbott’s executive order so that it could require masks in public schools, as well as mandate that unvaccinated students quarantine if they are determined to have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

The decision represents a blow for Abbott, who issued the executive order in late July, saying at the time that entities that failed to comply could be fined up to $1,000.

Meanwhile, in Florida, the Broward County School Board on Tuesday voted 8-1 to maintain its mask mandate and is seeking legal counsel to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis’s executive order.

The school superintendents for Florida’s Leon and Alachua counties have also said they would enforce mask mandates in defiance of the governor’s order, which was hit with its first legal challenges Friday with two lawsuits questioning the ban’s constitutionality.

A spokesman for Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott did not return a request for comment on the Judge’s decision.


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