CALVERT, Texas — Calvert ISD administration recently made the decision to mandate face mask wearing for students and teachers. According to superintendent Dr. Thyrun Hurst, the mandate goes into effect tomorrow, Aug. 25.
Initially, the Calvert school board had come to a decision in favor of mask mandates earlier this month. Hurst made the call to formally instill the mandate once he saw how the Texas Supreme Court was handling cases with other schools challenging Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order, and how the Texas Education Agency [TEA] reacted.
“Now, if something happened in the upcoming court [cases] or whatever, then we would go back and look at the decisions we have made," Hurst said. "But right now, our decisions are to keep the students safe.”
Hurst says that other than a single parent complaint, he has received overall support from the families of Calvert ISD's 140 students. The school district may make special exceptions to the rule for students with specific medical conditions or religious exemptions.
“It’s having a conversation and sitting down and talking with the parents," Hurst said, explaining his interaction with the concerned mother. "What else can we do? She mentioned some medical issues, and... there are exceptions to everything.”
Otherwise, Hurst noted that noncompliance for mask-wearing will be dealt with on an individual basis, involving cooperation with that student's parents.
“I’m not expecting to have a lot of kids who won’t wear their masks," he commented. "On day one, school started Aug. 18, we had a lot of students already wearing masks. Parents sent them with a mask.”
Earlene Trejo, a grandparent of a Calvert ISD student, said that the parent circles she’s a part of being in favor of Hurst’s decision.
“COVID-19 is rampant throughout the state, throughout the world," she said. "And then we also have this Delta strain that’s come in. We don’t know how to protect our children, but we do know that masks will help!”
Last week the TEA suspended enforcement of Gov. Abbott’s executive orders barring schools from mask mandates; at least while the current court cases between the governor and several public school districts are ongoing.
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