Alice ISD follows Gov. Abbotts Executive Order on face masks but responds with caution

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal

The Alice Independent School District (AISD), will follow Gov. Greg Abbott's Executive Order effective 11:59 p.m. on June, 4 but urges caution to the community.

The recent mandate requires the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to revise its Public Health notice to no longer require face masks in Texas public schools. 

The order states that no teacher, student, parent, staff member or visitor will be required to wear facial coverings by law. 

"Our COVID Taskforce believes that lifting the mask requirements in our schools is premature, since the majority of our students are not eligible to be vaccinated, or have not been fully vaccinated. Following the CDC recommended safety protocols, including wearing face masks, has been instrumental in mitigating COVID close contact exposure in our schools for both our staff and students," said AISD Superintendent Dr. Carl Scarbrough. "Recently, on May 21, the CDC continued recommending mask use in schools. Although Alice ISD disagrees with the Governor’s Executive Order, we will comply with the mandate. We are revising our protocols to make masks optional, and we can only encourage our students and staff to continue wearing them."

Alice ISD reports staff member affected with COVID-19 a week before Gov. Greg Abbott's Executive Order takes effect on June, 5 allowing students, teachers, staff, parents and visitors the right to choose face coverings while entering and attending public school.

On May 28, AISD sent a letter to parents and students informing them a staff member was on campus and recently tested positive for COVID-19. 

While 30 percent of Texans are currently vaccinated,  the majority of children are not due to the recent approval of Pfizer vaccinations for children 12 and older. 

"We remain optimistic that the Alice community will continue to provide vaccination opportunities for our students age 12 and older, parents, and staff; and hopefully our younger students will become eligible in the near future. The CDC's guidance on what activities fully vaccinated people can participate in is clearly outlined, and for those that are not fully vaccinated, mask-wearing is still recommended. The Governors Executive Order goes counter to the CDC's recommendations and public schools are caught in the middle," Scarbrough added. 

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