Spring ISD Announces Mask Mandate, Defies Abbott’s Executive Order

Spring, Texas – Spring Independent School District announced during its August 10 board meeting that it will reinstate a mask mandate on its campuses, effective Monday, August 16. The policy will require that all students, staff, and visitors wear masks while on district campuses, regardless of vaccination status. The move is a direct violation of Governor Gregg Abbott’s executive order prohibiting any governmental entity from requiring any person to wear a mask.

This makes Spring ISD the first Houston-area school district to defy the executive order and the newest addition to a growing list of schools and other governmental entities across Texas who are disregarding the ban. Houston ISD is expected to vote on a similar policy this week and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner recently announced that all city employees will be mandated to wear masks inside buildings where social distancing is not feasible.

Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney Watson, who delivered the announcement at his district’s board meeting, said of the decision, “One of our core values in Spring ISD is we will do whatever we can do to ensure the safety of our students and our staff.” He went on to say, “I don’t want to focus so much on defying the governor. We are ensuring that our kids are safe. We’re ensuring that our teachers are safe. And we’re ensuring the learning needs for each student is met.”

In addition to the mask mandate, the district announced other measures it will be taking to keep its campuses safe. The contact tracing protocols that were established during the 2019-2020 school year will continue and parents and staff will be notified of any new cases. The district will also update an online virus tracker each night, allowing parents to keep themselves informed on how many cases are in the district and on which campuses.

“We know that it’s important for our families to have a clear understanding of COVID in our district, and we think resuming contact tracing and general notifications will give our community a transparent look at what’s happening in Spring ISD,” said Dr. Watson.

Spring ISD’s daily virus tracker can be found on the district website.

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