Masks mandated despite Abbott laws


Sierra Orozco

Students wear masks in spite of Abbott’s ban of masks in schools.

Sierra Orozco, Reporter

Texas governor Greg Abbott’s executive order bans mask mandates in Texas schools. Many school districts in Texas such as Dallas ISD and Austin ISD are furious about his laws and are suing Abbott for making students learn in an unsafe environment.

After seeking legal guidance from attorneys, the Ysleta district joins Anthony, Canutillo, El Paso, and Socorro ISD in requiring all students to wear a mask on campus. As reported by The Texas Tribune, Texas schools have seen a spike in COVID-19 cases since school started with 110 new cases in El Paso in the first week of school.

Most teachers and students agree masks make safer conditions in school.

“I noticed how crowded our hallways and classrooms are, so I was worried about the spread of the virus within our Del Valle community, especially with the Delta variant. As a parent of a child at Del Valle, I was also worried about her health being surrounded by so many kids not wearing masks,” digital media teacher Marisol Rivera said.

Before the mandate students were free to choose whether they wanted to wear a mask, there were no rules in place but starting Thursday Aug. 19, masks must be worn on campus.

“We have been very lucky here at Del Valle. I have not had one student or parent who refuses to or they’d want to talk to me about wearing masks. Other schools have a problem with that but not here. It’s been really great,” principal Antonio Acuña said.

With a temporary restraining order against Abbott’s ban on masks, there has been guidance by YISD attorneys as a result the district will now require all students and staff to wear masks.

“With our governor threatening to cut funding to schools if they mandated masks, I feel school officials were put between a rock and a hard place.  School officials also have to deal with the backlash of people who do not want to wear masks,” government teacher Luis Vasquez said.

Teachers and administration also had their right to choose whether or not to wear a mask.

“I wore a mask only in bigger crowds, if there was not a big crowd I did not wear my mask,” Acuña said.

Many believe masks must be required for young students in every school.

“I don’t think the health and safety of our students should be up for debate and masks are necessary, especially for the elementary-aged kids who do not have access to the vaccine,” Rivera said.

As schools open up, the districts must ensure that their students and faculty are safe. 

“I believe Ysleta has done a good job, we are not reactive. We are always trying to solve the problem so it will not propagate. The district is always trying to do what’s best for the students even though sometimes parents or the community might not agree, we know it’s the best thing for the students,” Acuña said.

Some teachers feel masks are safer and recommend that students get vaccinated so they will have a secure environment to learn in.

According to the public health officials, vaccinations are necessary to help end this pandemic, so I would definitely suggest students get vaccinated,” Rivera said.

Gregg Abbott’s executive order states that students do not need to wear masks, this has been a very controversial topic for Texas because schools are refusing to follow his orders and suing Abbott. 

“I think Abbott is trying to make this a political thing and not a health thing.I think Abbott is becoming a tyrant and abusing his power,” Vasquez said.

Schools across Texas are resisting Abbott and requiring masks. 

“I’m very proud to be a part of a district who is taking care of their students, employees and the community,” Rivera said.