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Q&A: Texas Attorney General answers controversial questions regarding masks in schools

Posted at 6:11 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 19:11:31-04

WACO, TX — The debate over masks in schools continues. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was in Waco for a campaign event and we brought your questions to him regarding the controversial lawsuits filed against school districts.

Local news has never had the opportunity to speak with Paxton until Thursday.

Q: When is enough 'is enough' at the end of the day? Is this is a public health issue or is this a political one?

  • A: "I don't decide that. The legislature elected by the state decides what is law and what is not. I don't decide that whether it is political or not. My job is to enforce the law whether I disagree with it or not, doesn't matter it is to enforce all laws if they are constitutional," Paxton said.

Q: Do you believe students should be wearing masks then?

  • A: "I think it's a personal decision," Paxton said. "Everybody, there is disagreement if they are effective. I had dinner with three doctors the other night who say they don't work, I don't know what the real science is because people give you different answers. I do think it should be up to individuals."

Since its origin, the Republican Party has pushed for local control compared to big government, but some claim Governor Abbott's order is doing the opposite of what Republicans are fighting for.

Q: Is it still pushing for this given the decisions being made at the top?

  • A: "We don't have kings in this country anymore. We don't have tribal leaders. We have representatives that make laws. The job is to make the best decisions about health not for some local officials to say 'I'm above all of this because I know better. I know more about science and I'm going to make decisions for everyone else, even if I'm not elected to do that'," Paxton said.

25 News wanted to follow up on that response but were cut short leaving many wondering if the state believes they know best when it comes to local enforcement.

We also asked Attorney General Paxton about what he had to say regarding Connally ISD, a Central Texas school district that had three teachers die due to exposure; the district is not allowed to implement a mask mandate without repercussions.

Paxton said he never told them they couldn't wear a mask.