Justice Department Says Texas Ban on Mask Warrants Violates Rights of Students With Disabilities
AUSTIN, Texas – Does Governor Greg Abbott’s Ban on Masks in Schools Violate the Rights of Students with Disabilities? A federal judge will answer this question during a trial in Austin on Wednesday.
The lawsuit, which begins at 9 a.m., stems from a lawsuit filed by families of 14 disabled children living in Texas.
In the courtroom, attorneys for the Texas disability rights group are expected to argue that by not allowing mask warrants, it puts students with disabilities at risk in terms of health and safety. They claim the ban is discriminatory and violates federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, arguing that it is dangerous for some students to participate in in-person learning without everyone hiding. .
However, Abbott’s office stresses that the executive order does not prohibit anyone in schools from wearing masks, it only prohibits mandating them. Abbott argues that parents should have the freedom to make these decisions for their children. Attorney General Ken Paxton and the Texas Education Agency are the defendants in today’s trial.
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The Texas Pediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics are expected to comment on the issue as part of this trial.
The argument on behalf of these students is potentially reinforced by a statement of support from President Biden’s Justice Department, which says that “the factual allegations of the plaintiffs, if proven, would establish that the state’s implementation of Executive Order GA-38 has the effect of denying them an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the in-person instruction offered by their public schools. “
Texas Republicans claim Democrats are trying to make this political. “This is the same unfair and biased pro-Democrat militarization that we have seen for too long from the Department of Justice,” former Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey said.
“I think they’ve got a deal, and I’m sorry to come to this,” said Glenn Smith, senior strategist for Progress Texas.
Dr. Eddy Carder, professor of political science at Prairie View A&M, argues that the outcome of this lawsuit could have major implications.
“I just think it’s a matter of preemption. And does federal law pre-empt state action or governor’s action or governor’s decree?” Carder said. “I think it’s safe to say that other states are certainly monitoring what’s going on in Texas.”
It is not known when the judge will render a decision.
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