HOUSTON - FOX 26 has learned that a mask mandate will be brought before the Houston Independent School District next week for a vote.
This comes after the Texas Education Agency released new public health guidelines on Thursday stating, "In regards to masks, per Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order, school systems cannot require students or staff to wear a mask. The guidance added that school systems must allow individuals to wear a mask if they choose to do so."
Parents in several school districts have asked school officials to continue virtual learning in their school districts. Houston ISD has said they do not plan to offer virtual learning for the upcoming school year, according to their 2021-2022 Back to School Plan.
In a statement from Houston ISD Superintendent Millard House II:
"The health and safety of our students and staff continues to be our guiding compass in all of our decisions. As a result, during tonight’s agenda review meeting, I announced that I will propose a mask mandate for students, staff, and visitors at all schools, buses, and facilities to be voted on next week by the Board of Education. The rate of COVID-19 cases is rising in our communities and Harris County is now at threat level red. We must remain vigilant and use every tool we have to keep this virus at bay. Therefore, the mask mandate will become effective upon Board approval during next Thursday’s board meeting on August 12.
The mask mandate applies to everyone regardless of whether they are vaccinated. In partnership with health officials, three HISD schools are offering vaccinations this Saturday. If your child is 12 or older, I encourage parents to stop by and get a shot. No appointments are necessary.
• Dogan Elementary School, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
• Deady Middle School, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
• Kashmere High School, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
The 2021-2022 school year begins on August 23, and we will continue to monitor the situation and work with health officials for frequent updates, which we will share with you. The safety of all HISD staff and students continues to be our top priority."