First Federal Lawsuit Against Abbott’s Mask Mandate Ban Filed
The court battles continue to pile up for Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. On Wednesday, the advocacy group, Disability Rights Texas announced that fourteen plaintiffs, all children and their family members, filed the first federal lawsuit against Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath.
According to a report from KXAN, the plaintiffs argue that the Governor's executive order which calls for a ban on school districts mandating masks puts children with disabilities at risk and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lawsuit also argues that the executive order from Governor Abbott violates Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act.
According to the lawsuit, the order discriminates against students with disabilities and their rights to public education programs. Several of the plaintiffs, which have varying degrees of disabilities, could be at an increased risk of medical complications and death due to their underlying medical conditions, the lawsuit states.
Those who filed the lawsuit are seeking a federal temporary restraining order which would stop enforcement of Abbott's executive order. It would also allow school districts to institute a mask mandate in schools.
According to KXAN, the Governor's office responded to the lawsuit by saying the Governor cares for the health and safety of all students.
When asked for a response to the complaints within the lawsuit, a spokesperson responded: “Governor Abbott cares deeply about the health and safety of disabled students, as he does for all Texas students. Since his accident that left him paralyzed, the Governor has worked throughout his career to protect the rights of all those with disabilities in Texas.”
More than 50 school districts have attempted to institute their own mask mandates since the Governor's executive order.