Judge orders halt to Texas mask mandate ban in schools


Texas Gov Greg Abbott during a news conferenced about migrant children detentions Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

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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