Why a judge says Texas can’t ban masks in schools


HOUSTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 27: Texas Governor Greg Abbott exits stage after speaking at the Houston Region Business Coalition’s monthly meeting on October 27, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Abbott spoke on Texas’ economic achievements and gave an update on the state’s business environment. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a halt to enforcement of the Texas mask mandate ban in the state’s schools. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled Wednesday in Austin that the ban ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott violated a federal law protecting disabled students’ access to public education.

The nonprofit advocacy group Disabled Rights Texas argued that Abbott’s ban prohibited accommodations for disabled children particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

Yeakel prohibited Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton from suing school districts that require students to wear masks as a safety measure.

Messages seeking comment from Abbott’s and Paxton’s offices were not immediately returned Wednesday.

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