Four Central Texas school districts sued by Texas Attorney General over mask mandates

Texas AG Ken Paxton
Posted at 11:18 AM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 18:21:06-04

WACO, Texas — Four Central Texas school districts are being sued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton over mask mandates.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, names Waco ISD, McGregor ISD, La Vega ISD and Midway ISD.

According to the 25-page lawsuit, the state will suffer “irreparable harm” unless Judge Vicki Menard issues an injunction blocking the mask mandates.

Waco ISD's Superintendent, Dr. Susan Kincannon, instated its mask mandate on Aug. 30 citing the rising positive cases of COVID-19.

McGregor ISD instated its mask mandate as part of a three-stage plan based on positive case percentages on Sept. 7.

Midway ISD has stated on its website that masks are not required but rather highly encouraged.

On Tuesday, Midway ISD's director of communications said the district shouldn't have been included.

In the lawsuit, Paxton accused the four school districts of "deliberately violating state law."

He requested an expedited hearing on the state’s application for a temporary restraining order and a temporary injunction which seek to block the districts from requiring masks be worn in school.

School districts respond to lawsuit

Waco ISD
“As I’ve said before, I’m not interested in politics," said Kincannon. "I’m focused on taking care of kids. If and when Waco ISD is actually served in this lawsuit, we will review it and respond accordingly.

“In the meantime, two things are clear. Courts across the state are deeply divided over whether the mask provisions of the governor’s executive order have the force of law. More importantly, since requiring masks in all Waco ISD buildings, the number of students and employees reporting that they have tested positive for COVID-19 has decreased significantly.”

McGregor ISD

Midway ISD
A Midway ISD spokesperson said the district was wrongfully named in the lawsuit because it has a mask directive, not a mandate.

"(Paxton) does not verify whether a district does in fact have a mask mandate before adding districts to a non-compliance list and filing a lawsuit," said Traci Marlin, the district’s director of communications.

On Monday, Paxton won a lawsuit against Paris ISD. The school district in East Texas made national headlines for making masks part of its dress code.

For health reasons masks are currently required for all employees and students to mitigate flu, cold, pandemic, and any other communicable diseases.
Paris ISD Dress Code

“The law is clear, and this superintendent knows this, yet he has no issue continuing to waste precious state resources on impossible lawsuits instead of providing for his students,” Paxton said. “This temporary restraining order is just the first step in restoring order to our great state and ending this disruption from rogue local officials.”

Paxton has a full list of school districts that impose mask mandates on his website.