RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Valley school districts are watching the Texas Supreme Court closely after a ruling made Sunday allowed Governor Gregg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates in Dallas and Bexar Counties.
ValleyCentral spoke with the attorneys representing the six valley school districts that filed suit against the governor to find out what the plan is if similar legal action is taken in the Valley.
Kevin O’hanlon is representing all six valley school districts. He says the Texas Supremes Courts decision to side with Governor Abbott’s ban on mask mandates has raised eyebrows but says his clients don’t plan to change anything.
“They want to do this,” O’hanlon said. “They think it is important for the safety of their kids in terms of the safety out there. We have no idea why the Governor is doing what he is doing.”
While the Hidalgo County Health Authority issued a mask mandate for all area school districts on Friday, O’hanlon says the Texas Supreme Court can’t intervene, since the county has not filed a lawsuit against the Governor. Valley school districts that issued mask mandates also don’t enforce masks for people across the county.
“We are not telling people whether they’ve got to wear a mask or do anything at all except when they are on our premises,” O’hanlon said.
Ben Castillo represents PSJA ISD as well as other school districts. Castillo says they expect the Texas Attorney General to appeal the temporary restraining order that was granted. They are preparing for what might come next.
“We’re prepping to defend these districts you know to the fullest extent as possible,” Castillo said. “But it is different than what the issue is with the counties are because we’re not issuing a general mask mandate.”
But the main goal for everyone is not to have anyone get sick while in school.
“Pay attention to your kids and do what you need to keep them safe, this isn’t about litigation or anything about that nature,” O’halon said.