FBISD's board of trustees initially gave approval for Acting Superintendent Diana Sayavedra to issue a mask mandate for students, employees and visitors at FBISD campuses at an Aug. 23 meeting.
The reversal comes after statewide temporary restraining orders against an executive order barring mask mandates were no longer in place and enforceable, district officials said.
The district said it removed the mask mandate to align with that legal development. In addition, district officials said its legal team will continue to monitor the legal status of Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-38, which prohibits local governments from having mask mandates.
FBISD trustees Jim Rice, Angie Hanan, Shirley Rose-Gilliam and Denetta Williams voted Aug. 23 in favor of requiring masks, while trustees Dave Rosenthal, Judy Dae and Kristen Davison Malone opposed the mask mandate.
Despite voting against the mandate at the Aug. 23 meeting, Rosenthal called for unity, saying the community has been “ripped apart by this virus and by this mask issue.”
“The reality is a mask mandate, while currently enforceable, could easily be moot by the week’s end depending on what the Texas Supreme Court does,” Rosenthal said, five days before the district announced its retraction.
The district said it does continue to strongly urge the use of masks by employees, students, parents and visitors when inside of school buildings.
"The district will continue to take all legal and prudent measures to protect the health and safety of all students and staff and requests that all stakeholders do their part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19," the statement said.