Plano ISD trustees to consider mask mandate during emergency board meeting Aug. 23

Meeting
The Plano ISD board of trustees heard from 10 public speakers requesting stricter health and safety protocols during its Aug. 17 meeting. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Plano ISD board of trustees heard from 10 public speakers requesting stricter health and safety protocols during its Aug. 17 meeting. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Plano ISD board of trustees will consider action related to a mask mandate during an emergency meeting called for 8 a.m. Aug. 23.

The Texas Supreme Court on Aug. 19 left in place a temporary restraining order issued by Jan Soifer, Travis County District Court Judge, which blocked Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates.

The court denied Abbott’s motion for emergency relief from the temporary restraining order, filed Aug. 13, against executive order GA-38, which barred local governments from issuing mask mandates.

The Texas Education Agency updated its public health guidance Aug. 19 to state it will not enforce the governor's order "as the result of ongoing litigation."

Advocacy group Disability Rights Texas on Aug. 17 filed the first federal lawsuit against Abbott and TEA Commissioner Mike Morath on behalf of 14 child plaintiffs with disabilities.


The suit claims Abbott's July 29 executive order prohibiting public entities from setting mask mandates is discriminatory. According to the suit, the ban on required masking puts children with disabilities at a significant risk and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

After initially approving revised health and safety protocols for the 2021-22 school year Aug. 3, the PISD board approved updated protocols based on TEA guidance during a special called meeting Aug. 9.

During the board’s most recent meeting Aug. 17, the board heard from 10 speakers during the public comment section requesting stricter protocols, including a mask mandate, but there was no item related to that topic on its agenda.

According to the agenda for the Aug. 23 meeting, the board is scheduled to go into two separate closed sessions before considering any action.

PISD’s newly launched COVID-19 dashboard shows there have been a cumulative total of 185 cases among students and 50 cases among staff this school year, as of Aug. 20. Among students in pre-K through sixth grade, nearly 2,400 PISD students registered for a temporary, parent-led virtual option the district is offering, according to district staff.

The trustees meeting will be held in the board room of the PISD Administration Building, 2700 W. 15th St., Plano. The meeting may also be viewed online at this link.
By William C. Wadsack

Senior Reporter, Plano/Richardson

William joined Community Impact Newspaper in December 2019. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana.



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