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Texas Teachers Association president calls on Gov. Abbott to allow school districts to issue mask mandates as COVID-19 cases rise

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 3:12 PM CDT
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EAST TEXAS (KLTV/KTRE) - The Texas State Teachers Association president said school districts should have local control when it comes to mask mandates.

Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an order banning the enforcement of masks at all state institutions, which include public schools.

The TSTA issued a call to Abbott on Tuesday to remove the ban. The move came after the CDC recommended masks for all students and staff for the beginning of the school year.

“It’s unbelievable that we’re still having to beg our governor and our state to try to keep us safe,” Texas State Teachers’ Association President Ovidia Molina said. “We are asking for local school districts to have the ability to say, you know what, it is not safe in my area, we have to make sure that everybody is wearing a mask.”

Abbott has encouraged Texans to get the vaccine, but students under the age of 12 are not yet eligible to get it.

“A large part of our student population cannot get the vaccine, so when he says we’re going the vaccine route, that’s not a choice for some of our students,” Molina said.

Abbott says “personal responsibility” will replace mask mandates going forward, but Molina says more needs to be done. “I think if personal responsibility were enough, we wouldn’t see the cases going up,” Molina said.

Doctors say they agree that students wearing masks in the classroom will help keep COVID-19 cases low.

“If we want to protect our schools, especially kids that are unvaccinated, masking is a simple way to slow the spread and keep our kids safe,” Dr. John Brownstein said.

Abbott is standing firm in his decision to do away with government issued mask mandates – saying on Twitter, “Every Texan has the right to choose whether they will wear a mask or have their children wear masks.”

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