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To mask or not to mask? Small area districts face a decision

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 8:01 PM CST
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ROGERS, Texas (KWTX) - Many smaller school districts, Thursday, had still not announced their final decision regarding masking requirements at their campuses.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a new executive order Tuesday lifting most of the restrictions included in earlier orders including the statewide mask mandate and restrictions on business capacity.

The governor, during his announcement on Tuesday, said schools would need to get further instructions form the Texas Education Agency regarding masking and other COVID-19 mitigation protocols.

The TEA on Wednesday said school districts, in collaboration with their school boards, would be responsible for deciding their mask protocols.

Several school districts Thursday told News Ten they were still waiting to get further guidance on the mask issue from the TEA during a scheduled phone meeting with TEA commissioner Mike Morath and superintendents across the state.

At Rogers ISD the decision has already been made to continue requiring students to wear their masks and follow other COVID-19 mitigation protocols that had already been put in place.

Rogers ISD superintendent Joe Craig, announced the mask requirement Thursday while also apologizing for any confusion.

On Tuesday he announced via the district’s social media that masks would no longer be required on campuses and that the district would also halt temperature checks. He has now said the announcement was a mistake and that he acted too quickly without fully understanding what the governor’s order meant for school districts.

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