A federal judge has ruled that Texas’ ban on mask mandates in schools violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to court documents filed Wednesday in US District Court for the Western District of Texas.
The ruling follows months of clashes between state and local leaders over mask mandates in schools — not just in Texas, but across the country. Similar mandates became the topic of heated debates earlier this year as the Delta variant sent Covid-19 case numbers surging once again and schools across the United States began to reopen while many students were still ineligible for a vaccine.
The ruling signed by US District Court Judge Lee Yeakel says that “at issue is whether Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-38 violates Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.”
“The evidence presented by Plaintiffs establishes that Plaintiffs are being denied the benefits of in-person learning on an equal basis as their peers without disabilities. The court concludes that GA-38 violates the ADA,” the ruling said.
Following the judge’s decision, the Texas attorney general wrote on Twitter, “I strongly disagree with Judge Yeakel’s opinion barring my office from giving effect to GA-38, which prohibits mask mandates imposed by government entities like school districts.”
“My agency is considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision,” the attorney general wrote.
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