WFISD superintendent to discuss mask mandate with school board

After the Texas Supreme Court chose to stay out of Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on mandates
Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 11:06 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Schools across the state of Texas may be requiring students to add masks back into their everyday school routines next week after the Texas Supreme Court chose to stay out of the fight over Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on mandates. This decision has allowed school districts with mask mandates to keep them at this time.

Wichita Falls ISD Superintendent Michael Khurt said there are over 6,000 students just between their 16 elementary schools and three middle schools who don’t meet the vaccination age requirement; students, along with thousands of others, who may be protected by wearing masks.

“I always keep his masks on him just to be safe I’d rather be safe than sorry, said Erin McLeod, a parent.

“We’ve gone back and forth with what we want to do for our kiddos about wearing the masks this year. It would be easier I feel like if they all wore the masks,” said Tracy Oatman, a 4th grade parent.

While some parents who have children who attend Fain Elementary are on board for masks, Khurt said it’s a decision he would like to consider with the WFISD School Board.

“We just got the change in the mandate, the mask mandate I think makes sense and we’re going to be discussing it and have a decision here pretty soon,” said Khurt.

Unlike larger school districts in Texas that did push the envelope by going against Governor Abbott’s ban, Khurt said it was a situation he decided to approach with caution.

“To me, it was a matter of community spread. We have not had a lot of community spread compared to those districts, I think percentage-wise we have not and I think we wanted to see what happened once our students got in to school,” said Khurt.

Some parents even believe that wearing masks prevented their kids from getting other illness last year.

“My kid, personally, she hardly got a cold. She didn’t get sick, everyone was wearing a mask, it really cut back on kids being out of school,” said Oatman.

Others believe masks prevent their little ones from truly having a childhood.

“Their voice is muffled, just communication in general, face-to-face human interacting is important, especially for children,” said Cassie Ryle, a 3rd grade parent.

“I think either way we go, there’s going to be pushback. I think the main thing this isn’t about masks, this isn’t about restricting someone’s right to not wear a masks, this is about keeping people in school. The best way for everybody is to wear a masks,” said Khurt.

If Texas districts including WFISD does decide to enforce masks mandates its a decision that the Texas supreme court staff say could only be temporary because the legal battle will continue.

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