Appeals court upholds Texas block on school mask mandates | Health
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order that prohibits school districts from imposing mask mandates on schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been upheld by a court panel. federal split appeal.
The decision by the New Orleans-based 5th United States Circuit Court of Appeals ended a lower federal court injunction authorizing such warrants.
Families of seven disabled children – the court filing mentioned Down syndrome, asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, epilepsy, heart defects and cerebral palsy, among others – had sued in justice, saying the children were vulnerable and that the lack of masking requirements in their schools put their health at risk.
Writing for the majority in a 2-1 decision on Monday, Judge Andrew Oldham said there are other options for schools to respond to children’s health issues. He specifically mentioned vaccines, plexiglass barriers, the use of hand sanitizer and social distancing.
“It is clearly within the power of the state to remove a possible accommodation from consideration, so long as other reasonable options remain,” Oldham wrote in the notice released Monday, rejecting arguments that the ban mask mandates violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws. right. Judge Don Willett concurred in the judgment.
Judge W. Eugene Davis dissented. Davis agreed that the lower court’s injunction was “too broad”. But, he said, the courts should allow school districts to impose mask mandates at schools attended by the seven students.
“Because of their disabilities and based on the testimony of their personal physicians, the district court found that due to their increased susceptibility to contracting COVID-19 and, if contracted, an increased risk serious illness or death, children could not safely attend school where they would be near unmasked students or staff,” Davis wrote.
The 5th Circuit handles appeals of federal rulings in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Oldham and Willett were court appointees by former President Donald Trump; Davis, by former President Ronald Reagan.
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