Will El Paso Schools Still Require Masks?
Coming up on March 10th, the state of Texas will no longer require masks. But businesses will still be able to make their own rules. If you're going to scream and yell about your rights, stop and think about this. Were you just strolling through stores with no shirt and no shoes? Because that's been a thing as long as I can remember. "No shirt, no shoes, no service." Just throw in "no mask".
Some businesses will still be requiring masks, while others, like Albertson's, will not. But what about schools? Here in El Paso, we are still figuring out the virtual learning vs the in-person learning. This is where things get confusing because on a state level, Abbott has said masks won't be required. But also on the state level, the Texas Education Agency said that schools will require masks. HOWEVER, locally, those requirements can be subverted. According to the Texas Education Agency's new guidelines:
Every student, teacher, or staff member shall wear a mask over the nose and mouth when inside a school building, school facility, facility used for school activities, or when in an outdoor space on school property or used for school activities, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household.
My wife and I have discussed getting our get back to in-person schooling, and are planning on her going back after Spring Break. But if they aren't going to require masks in the school, she won't be returning. Something that seems to get lost in the Governor's decision to reopen Texas is the realization that just because we can doesn't mean we should.
The following is from an email from Gustavo Reveles, of EPISD.
The El Paso Independent School District will continue to mandate the use of face masks at all its facilities despite the relaxation of health guidelines announced by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Interim Superintendent Vince Sheffield announced.
The Texas Education Agency today updated its Public Health Guidance to allow public school districts to continue their current practices in regards to mask wearing. As such, EPISD will not alter its requirement that all students, staff and visitors wear face masks whenever they are in a District school or facility.
“This decision from the TEA allows EPISD to continue to provide learning and working environments that are as safe as possible during the pandemic,” Sheffield said. “The response from parents and staff is overwhelmingly in favor of extending our face-mask mandate. Our schools are safe because of the strict protocols in place.”