Someday, these dumb stories will stop happening. Others will replace them, to be sure, but this type of dumb story will eventually fade away.
A group of parents are suing the Katy Independent School District, calling its continued requirement for masks in schools unconstitutional and a violation of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order from last month that lifted the statewide mask mandate, among other COVID-19 safety restrictions.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday by a Houston attorney for parents Bonnie Anderson, Jenny Alexander, Doug Alexander, Heather Calhoun and Stephen Calhoun, takes issue with the district’s current safety protocols for in-person schooling, specifically its requirement that students wear masks in hallways, buses, and other common areas.
When Abbott announced his executive order, he did not address the ways rescinding the mask mandate affected public schools. In a later interview with radio host Chad Hasty, Abbott said he expected the Texas Education Agency to leave the decision to require masks up to local school boards.
The agency’s updated mask policy has allowed “local school boards have full authority to determine their local mask policy,” according to its website. In public planning guidance, the agency also recommends the use of masks.
Under Katy ISD’s policies, students who don’t comply with the mask policy will be moved to online school and aren’t allowed to participate in other student activities. Those who have medical conditions that preclude them from wearing a mask must notify the school nurse and have documentation from their medical provider, according to the policy.
The lawsuit also argues under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Brown v. Board of Education that forcing students to switch to virtual school is a form of “separate but equal” discrimination.
The Supreme Court case’s ruling focused on segregation between Black and white students in public schools and discrimination on the basis of race.
Katy ISD responded to the lawsuit with a statement that it is complying with the agency’s public planning recommendations.
“Katy ISD continues to follow the Governor’s Executive Order GA-34 and comply with the Texas Education Agency’s Public Health Planning Guidance,” said the statement, obtained by Fox 26 Houston.
If you guessed that only Jared Woodfill would be dumb and obnoxious enough to cite Brown v Board of Education as a precedent for this silly lawsuit, congratulations. You don’t win a prize but you do get to live with the knowledge that you are familiar enough with Jared Woodfill to recognize his handiwork. It sure seems to me like this lawsuit is unlikely to win, but the part of my brain that tries to make sense of the world around me is convinced there must be some merit to this, however hard it may be to find. I don’t think my analysis can get any deeper than that, so let’s wrap this up. The Chron has more.