The U.S.A. is at war — with itself.
Also a topic of tremendous tumult: masks.
Just two years ago, most Americans surely couldn’t have imagined hiding their noses and mouths every day.
Now, it appears, some people may prefer it indefinitely — if veils help prevent infection, they’re worth the wearing.
There will always be disease; masks may be here to stay.
Also perhaps perpetual: mask mandates.
If it’s the government’s job to forcibly manage our health, there’s no reason to think we haven’t entered a new era of ongoing involvement.
But in Texas, the governor’s gone against the forced-face-hiding flow.
Signed in May, Number 36 was a continuation of sorts:
[T]o further ensure statewide uniformity, and based on the continued improvement of conditions in Texas, revised standards are appropriate to achieve the least restrictive means of combatting COVID-19…
No governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering…
“[E]ffective 11:59 p.m. on June 4, 2021,” the order directed, “no student, teacher, parent, or other staff member or visitor may be required to wear a face covering.”
Given our state of struggle, however, not everyone has complied.
As noted by The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Independent School District announced it would require students and teachers to mask up.
On Sunday, the Texas Supreme Court sided with Greg, icing mask orders in Dallas and Bexar counties.
But there’s a new outlaw in town.
As relayed by the New York Post, the Paris Independent School District has released its dress code.
The 4,000-student system included unmasked attendance on its list of impermissible acts.
Courtesy of the press statement:
The Board of Trustees is concerned about the health and safety of its students and employees. The Board believes the dress code can be used to mitigate communicable health issues, and therefore has amended the PISD dress code to protect our students and employees.
Some teachers are surely enthused.
On Tuesday, I covered the story of an English instructor in Austin who was driven to tears by the notion of full-faced folks.
Jenny Gillis claimed classroom presiders are plotting to make wills due to the mass-shooting-level crisis.
This Texas teacher is on the verge of tears talking about what it’s like working in a school that isn’t allowed to require masks. pic.twitter.com/hZYPX3z8xQ
— Kolleen (@littlewhitty) August 14, 2021
According to Paris district administrators, Gov. Greg “does not have the authority” to override their control of local schools:
Nothing in the governor’s Executive Order 38 states he has suspended Chapter 11 of the Texas Education Code, and therefore the board has elected to amend its dress code consistent with statutory authority.
Paris’s defiance comes courtesy of a 5-1 emergency vote.
The Post reports the mask mandate will be monthly reconsidered by the board.
But it doesn’t seem set to be dropped.
As I said above, there will always be disease.
And evidently, Paris is concerned about more than COVID:
From its official dress code:
For health reasons, masks are required for all employees and students to mitigate flu, cold, pandemic, and any other communicable diseases.
The war is real.
And I wouldn’t expect a ceasefire any time soon.
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