The Oldest Blog
A first amendment blog for school administrators and attorneys.
On September 17, 2021, the Texas Education Agency issued revised Public Health Guidance addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance removes language from prior versions of the TEA’s Public Health Guidance issued in August and September 2021. In the earlier guidance, TEA stated that “as the result of ongoing litigation,” it will not enforce the mask provisions of Executive Order GA-38. TEA further stated in the September 2 guidance that it would make further guidance available “after the court issues are resolved.” Although the courts have not resolved the issue, TEA removed the non-enforcement language from the September 17 guidance. The September 17 guidance includes no other substantive changes.
Notably, the September 17 guidance does not state that TEA will enforce GA-38. Rather, the guidance simply reverts back to language from the TEA Public Health Guidance issued before the mask litigation began. The September 17 guidance thus simply repeats the State’s opinion that GA-38 means schools cannot require students or staff to wear masks. Notably, Governor Gregg Abbott has stated that only local district attorneys have the authority to enforce GA-38’s ban on local mask requirements. For more information on how the TEA guidance impacts your school district’s mask requirements, contact any Thompson & Horton attorney.