Hidalgo County judge meets with superintendents to discuss mask mandate issue

Hidalgo County judge meets with superintendents to discuss mask mandate issue
2 years 10 months 1 week ago Thursday, August 12 2021 Aug 12, 2021 August 12, 2021 7:47 AM August 12, 2021 in News - Local

Although the use of local mask mandates has been banned by Gov. Greg Abbott, local superintendents are facing pressure as in-person classes are set to begin and COVID-19 cases are on the rise. 

A total of 11 superintendents met with Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez on Wednesday to discuss the issue. 

Cortez said he's trying to get a consensus of how parents are feeling this school year.

“I believe that every government should have a choice of what to do. That’s why they’re elected," Cortez said.

Cortez didn't take any action Wednesday, but is supporting those taking big steps. 

Throughout the pandemic, Hidalgo Independent School District Superintendent Xavier Salinas has advocated for mask-wearing. On Thursday, Salinas is planning to make that happen along with two other districts.

"It's not a time to be stubborn," Salinas said. "It's not a time to hunker down and play politics. It's time to make the best decision for boys and girls and for staff."

But to the west, parents are pressing the La Joya school board to go back to providing remote learning and threatening to pull their children if nothing happens.

“All we’re asking from the district — from La Joya ISD district —  that our leadership step up, be courageous, be brave, and make decisions that are going to protect our children, our teachers and our community as whole," said Andie Lee Gonzalez, a concerned parent. 

Late Wednesday night, the La Joya ISD school board voted to temporarily impose a mask mandate and announced plans to file a lawsuit against the state of Texas to regain local powers to mandate masks. 

Hidalgo ISD will hold an emergency meeting Thursday morning where they will discuss filing a lawsuit against Abbott. 

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