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Education

Parents Sue Allen ISD To Force Mask Requirement

A mother puts a mask on her child as they look up at her.
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In a federal class action suit filed Wednesday, parents say the life and health of their children are unconstitutionally threatened because the school district enforces no mask mandate.

Citing Gov. Greg Abbott’s comments that “no freedom is more precious than life” and “Texas will always defend the right to life,” a group of parents filed a class-action suit against the Allen Independent School District because it is not requiring that face masks be worn in schools.

The parents demand that the district adopt a policy requiring that all students — since they have a constitutional right to life and health — wear masks in schools. They also want that requirement for anyone else in school buildings.

Christina Cabral said she joined the suit to keep her kids safe — one has a compromised health condition. Cabral said the district’s COVID-19 safety rules are inconsistent or nonexistent.

"It’s all over the place, campus to campus, what they do, what they don’t do, what they allow," Cabral said. "The confusion level is high."

The parents cite the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 and the threat it poses to children’s health. They want the district’s policy changed despite the governor’s rejection of a mask mandate.

The suit says because children younger than 12 are especially vulnerable, since they cannot yet get a vaccine to protect themselves, Allen ISD should adopt CDC safety standards for COVID-19.

One part of the suit mentions a mass outbreak of possible coronavirus in a class, but the district has neither acknowledged the outbreak nor enabled the class and teachers to quarantine.

The district said in a statement it couldn’t comment on pending litigation, but strongly disagreed that students’ constitutional rights have been violated by leaving masks as an option for students and staff.

The parents' attorney, Martin Cirkiel, said he plans to file temporary orders in the next day or so to require the district to mandate masks.

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Got a tip? Email Reporter Bill Zeeble at bzeeble@kera.org. You can follow him on Twitter @bzeeble.