ALIEF, Texas - The growing number of COVID-19 cases locally is causing concern for school districts.
We are less than a week away from some school districts, like Alief ISD to start school, and Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order is leaving many school districts across the state feeling powerless.
"It is frustrating that the decisions that are being made to either remove the power from my hands or in some cases given to me, are not always made with science or people’s health in mind. There are politics involved, there are polls that people look at," said Alief Superintendent HD Chambers.
Public schools were allowed to continue mask-wearing guidelines, but that ended June 4. Many Texas families put a petition together asking the governor to reverse the ban for K-12 public schools. Currently, there are more than 10,000 signatures.
The petition states that sending students back to school without masking measures essentially puts everyone in danger. It is a fear Chambers has especially with the nationwide shortage of teachers.
"We can’t afford to lose any more staff members; we can’t lose any more teachers to this. When I say lose, I mean lose to being quarantined for 10 days or whatever the case may be," he said. "My message, as is most superintendents’ messages is simple. No, I do not have the ability to require your child, if eligible, to be vaccinated. I do not have the ability to have staff to be vaccinated. I do not have the ability to have all the students and adults to wear masks. However, I think it is undeniable that it is in everyone’s best interest, as far as their health interest, to wear a mask. Even if you are vaccinated."
Alief ISD, like many local school districts, ensures they will be doing everything they can to make the school as safe as possible with extensive cleaning. They just ask you to do your part and make sure your child masks up.