Fort Bend ISD board of trustees approves dress code, code of conduct with masks optional

The Fort Bend ISD board of trustees unanimously approved its 2021-22 student code of conduct and dress code on Aug. 4. The dress code makes masks optional for the upcoming school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The Fort Bend ISD board of trustees unanimously approved its 2021-22 student code of conduct and dress code on Aug. 4. The dress code makes masks optional for the upcoming school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Fort Bend ISD board of trustees unanimously approved its 2021-22 student code of conduct and dress code on Aug. 4. The dress code makes masks optional for the upcoming school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Fort Bend ISD board of trustees approved a dress code making face masks optional ahead of the 2021-22 school year, which begins Aug. 11. This comes as medical professionals and officials in Fort Bend County warn of a fourth wave of the coronavirus spurred on by the delta variant.

The dress code was included as part of the 2021-22 student code of conduct, which the board unanimously approved during its Aug. 4 special meeting.

The dress code includes language about Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order, which prohibited districts and other government agencies from mandating masks.

While the adopted policy says face coverings are a personal choice, it states that masks protect both the wearer and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

District officials said language in the dress code will be updated to include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidance that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals wear masks in schools.


“This is something that ... we can amend should changes be warranted in the future,” board President Dave Rosenthal said of the policy.

Seven parents and FBISD community members spoke at the meeting against the adoption of the dress code. They encouraged the district to think creatively about the problem, suggesting kids who will be wearing masks be put in classrooms together, incentivizing mask wearing among teachers, and pushing back against or defying the governor’s order altogether.

“I trust you—I want to trust you—to come up with solutions to keep our kids safe and healthy,” Angie Wierzbicki said during the public comment portion of the meeting. “I urge you, however, to appeal to Gov. Abbott, and if your appeals fall on deaf ears—as I imagine they might—just do it. Initiate universal masking in the district. Do the right thing.”

Sam Rubbico, who also spoke during public comment, said he was not opposed to offering virtual learning or putting children who wear masks in one classroom together, but said mask mandates should not be imposed.

“Why try to impose on others, do they impose on you?” Rubbico said.

Acting Superintendent Diana Sayavedra said the administration has heard parents’ concerns. She also said she was meeting with area superintendents Aug. 5 prior to a statewide superintendents' call with Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath, in which districts may receive additional information.

“In addition to that, we will be reviewing all of our data that we know is coming out from the county and will continue to apprise the board of this information so that we can determine whether any other decisions need to be made,” Sayavedra said.

Houston ISD’s Superintendent Millard House II said he will propose a mask mandate for the district’s board to consider next week.

Read the approved 2021-22 student code of conduct below.


By Claire Shoop

Reporter, Sugar Land/Missouri City

Claire joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2019 as the reporter for the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2019 where she studied journalism, government and Arabic. While in school, Claire was a fellow for The Texas Tribune, worked for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and spent a semester in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing cards with her family and listening to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.



MOST RECENT

The Fort Bend ISD board of trustees officially appointed Christie Whitbeck to be the district's next superintendent. (Courtesy Fort Bend ISD)
Fort Bend ISD board of trustees officially appoints Christie Whitbeck as superintendent

"This is my life's work. It's my passion. And I will give it everything I have," Fort Bend ISD's new superintendent Christie Whitbeck said in an interview with Community Impact Newspaper.

group of peope holding up beers
4 Sugar Land and Missouri City events to attend this weekend, Sept. 17-19

List of events in Sugar Land and Missouri City for this weekend

Texas-wide public charter school system Harmony Public Schools will offer a full virtual learning option for eligible students. (Courtesy Harmony Public Schools)
Harmony Public Schools will offer virtual learning for K-12 students in Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, Cypress

Schools under the Harmony Public Schools umbrella may offer up to 10% of its student body a full virtual learning option.

The Texas Department of Transportation is planning to install medians along 5.8 miles of FM 1092 from Hwy. 59 to Hwy. 6 in Missouri City. (Courtesy Fotolia)
As FM 1092 median project goes out to bid, some Missouri City Council Members still object

Construction on the project to install medians on FM 1092—also known as Murphy Road—is expected to begin in the winter and last for seven months, according to officials with TxDOT.

Normal school operations will resume at Fort Bend ISD's Fort Settlement Middle School after power was restored to the campus. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
UPDATE: Fort Bend ISD's Fort Settlement Middle School to reopen Sept. 17 following Hurricane Nicholas

Normal school operations will resume at Fort Bend ISD's Fort Settlement Middle School after power was restored to the campus.

Formerly known as Vision Source, optometrist Anh Doan continues to serve patients at Memorial Eye Center - Missouri City. (Amanda Feldott/Community Impact Newspaper)
Missouri City optometrist rebrands as Memorial Eye Center

Formerly known as Vision Source, optometrist Anh Doan continues to serve patients at Memorial Eye Center - Missouri City.

The majority of departments saw either no change or increases to their budgets. (Community Impact Staff)
Fort Bend County adopts $439M budget with new tax rate

The new Fort Bend County tax rate is $0.4383.

Located outside the Missouri City Community Center, "3 Musicians" is a sculpture by David Adickes, whose work includes the Sam Houston statue on I-45 near Huntsville. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Missouri City launches public art program to reflect city’s values, improve quality of life

As more cities embrace public art as a way to reflect history and culture, Missouri City approved creating a formal Art in Public Places Program in May. The initiative aims to beautify the city and enhance residents’ quality of life, officials said.

The seven schools that will remain closed Sept. 15 were effected by power outages caused during the storm. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Fort Bend ISD closes 7 campuses Sept. 15 due to power outages from Hurricane Nicholas

The seven schools that will remain closed Sept. 15 were effected by power outages caused during the storm.

At 2,011 square feet, and with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, 1007 Laurel Green Road sold for between $250,001-$285,000 on July 15. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
DATA: Sugar Land, Missouri City see higher home prices, fewer houses sold year over year in July

Check out the latest real estate trends for Sugar Land and Missouri City, plus learn more about Missouri City's Lexington Colony neighborhood.

Father and son Bill and Jared Jameson are partners at WJ Interests LLC. (Courtesy WJ Interests LLC)
Sugar Land financial adviser WJ Interests LLC celebrates 25th anniversary

For the past 25 years, WJ Interests LLC has provided individuals, families and businesses wealth and investment management services.

At a 9:30 a.m. press conference Sept. 14, Fort Bend County Judge KP George said the effects of Hurricane Nicholas on the county were relatively minimum. (Screenshot courtesy Fort Bend County)
Fort Bend County reports no high water, some debris and power outages following Hurricane Nicholas

At a 9:30 a.m. press conference Sept. 14, Fort Bend County Judge KP George said the effects of Hurricane Nicholas on the county were relatively minimum.