Coronavirus

Paxton Decides Yes He Can Sue School Districts Mandating Masks. And Does.

A Friday afternoon broadside attack.
A Friday afternoon broadside attack. Screenshot
click to enlarge A Friday afternoon broadside attack. - SCREENSHOT
A Friday afternoon broadside attack.
Screenshot
Apparently disturbed by reports that Gov. Abbott wasn't doing anything to school districts that have been defying his order barring any of them from requiring masks, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reversed course and filed several lawsuits Friday with the promise of filing more.

Although representatives of Gov. Abbott and Paxton argued earlier in court that only county district attorneys could enforce the governor's order on masking in schools, it seems Paxton decided the task fell to him and his office after all.

In his announcement Friday afternoon, Paxton made this statement:

“Not only are superintendents across Texas openly violating state law, but they are using district resources—that ought to be used for teacher merit raises or other educational benefits—to defend their unlawful political maneuvering,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said. “If districts choose to spend their money on legal fees, they must do so knowing that my office is ready and willing to litigate these cases. I have full confidence that the courts will side with the law – not acts of political defiance.”


Attached to the announcement was a list of school districts and governmental entities that have chosen their own path as regards masks and COVID-19 protections. There was no immediate word from the various government entities cited about what they plan to do in response.

The following list of governmental entities who have been reported as non-compliant with Executive Order GA-38, updated to reflect their current status:

Aldine ISD *
Angelton ISD
Aransas Pass ISD*
Austin Community College
Austin ISD *
Basis Texas
Bexar County
Beaumont ISD*
Brooks County ISD*
Brownsville ISD *
Cameron County *
Canutillo ISD *
Carrizo Springs CISD*
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD *
Channelview ISD*
Chapel Hill ISD*
Clint ISD
Connally ISD*
Crowley ISD *
Dallas County
Dallas ISD
Del Valle ISD *
Denton ISD*
DeSoto ISD *
Diboll ISD*
Donna ISD *
Eanes ISD*
Eagle Pass ISD *
Edcouch-Elsa ISD *
Edgewood ISD *
Edinburg CISD *
El Paso (City) *
El Paso ISD *
Elgin ISD ***
Ferris ISD*
Fort Bend County
Fort Sam Houston ISD *
Fort Worth ISD*
Galena Park ISD *
Galveston ISD ***
Garland ISD*
Harlandale ISD*
Harris County
Hidalgo ISD *
Honey Grove ISD*
Houston ISD *
IDEA Public Schools
Judson ISD*
Kennedale ISD
La Joya ISD *
Lackland ISD *
Laredo ISD *
Lasara ISD *
La Vega ISD*
Leander ISD*
Lockhart ISD*
Longview ISD*
Lufkin ISD*
Manor ISD *
Mathis ISD*
McAllen ISD *
McGregor ISD*
Mesquite ISD *
Midway ISD*
North East ISD
Northside ISD *
Paris ISD *
Plainview ISD*
Plano ISD*
Pflugerville ISD *
Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD *
Point Isabel ISD*
Progreso ISD*
Raymondville ISD*
Red Oak ISD
Richardson ISD ***
Round Rock ISD ***
Salado ISD*
San Antonio ISD *
San Benito CISD *
San Marcos CISD *
Sharyland ISD*
Sherman ISD***
Socorro ISD *
South San Antonio ISD
Spring ISD ***
Texas City ISD *
Travis County *
United ISD *
Uplift Education
Valley View ISD*
Vanguard Academy
Waco ISD*
Weslaco ISD *
West Orange Cove CISD*
West Oso ISD *
Ysleta ISD*
* indicates currently not in compliance; letter sent by the Texas Attorney General's Office

** indicates that the Office of the Attorney General is in active litigation with government entity regarding the enforcement of GA-38

*** indicates lawsuit filed by the Office of the Attorney General against government entity to enforce GA-38

Now in Compliance (previously not in compliance)

Calvert ISD
Cedar Hill ISD
Coppell ISD
Dripping Springs ISD
Fort Bend ISD
Fort Worth ISD
Grand Prairie ISD
Hays County
Hidalgo County
Highland Park ISD
Killeen ISD
Los Fresnos CISD
Marble Falls ISD
Nueces County
Premont ISD
Randolph Fields ISD
San Angelo ISD
Santa Gertrudis ISD
South Texas ISD
Sheldon ISD
Spring Branch ISD
Tom Green County
Trenton ISD
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
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