A federal judge has struck down the ban on the use of masks in schools in Texas. The measure violated the rights of students with disabilities, as reported by The New York Times. The governor of the state, Republican Gregg Abott, had assured that protecting oneself against covid-19 was a matter of “personal responsibility”. Abott, one of former President Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters, announced the end of the use of the mask last March despite the upturn in positive cases.
Judge Lee Yeakel of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas sided with the parents and ruled that the governor’s order violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 because it put children with disabilities at risk. . The lawsuit that seeks to stop Abott’s measure was filed on behalf of several families with students with disabilities and by the organization Disability Rights Texas. The document names Ken Paxton, state attorney, and Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath.
“The spread of covid-19 presents an even greater risk for children with special health needs,” said Judge Yeakel. “They are more likely to experience acute effects that can lead to hospitalization,” he added, according to The New York Times.
At the end of August, more than 56.4 million students, from kindergarten to high school, returned in person, after more than a year of distance learning. Another 20 million young people returned to universities. The political divide around the masks between Democrats and Republicans raised the tension. In addition to Texas, Arkansas, Arizona, South Carolina, Florida, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Utah prohibit the use of the mask in educational centers.
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