Round Rock ISD Superintendent Dr. Hafedh Azaiez announced to district parents Aug. 20 that he has asked the school board to call another meeting to revisit the district's mask mandate, which the board voted to put in place Aug. 16.
An email sent to parents late in the afternoon states that the legal landscape of mask mandates is changing, citing an Aug. 19 update from the Texas Education Agency that the state is not enforcing the executive order banning mask mandates in public schools from Texas Governor Greg Abbott due to ongoing legal battles. The Texas Supreme Court also declined to overturn temporary restraining orders in Travis County and the city of Austin mandating masks in public schools, which apply to RRISD, the email states. Instead, the Texas attorney general's challenge to the lawsuit was sent to a lower appellate court by the state Supreme Court.
"Given these developments, I have asked our Board President to call a meeting next week, and I will be bringing a recommendation at that time that the mask opt-out provision be reserved for health or developmental circumstances only and that all other staff and students be required to wear masks indoors when six feet of social distance is not possible," Azaiez states in the email.
An agenda with the date of the meeting had not been posted as of 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 20. However, the agenda will be required to be posted 72 hours before the meeting, in accordance with the Texas Open Meeting Act.
The mandate currently approved by the district's Board of Trustees gives parents the option to opt their children out of the mask mandate as well as teachers. Azaiez stated in his announcement that only 9% of students had been opted out of the mask mandate.
This is a developing story, and Community Impact Newspaper will update this story with new information.