Texas AG sues 6 school districts over mask mandates as almost 100 districts defy Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order to ban them

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton waves in a suit in front of an oversized American flag
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
  • Texas AG Ken Paxton on Friday said he sued six school districts for defying a ban on mask mandates.
  • In a statement, Paxton accused the districts of "unlawful political maneuvering."
  • One district said it would "allow the courts to decide the merits of the case," UPI reported.
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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday sued six school districts, saying their mask mandates defied a statewide ban.

"Not only are superintendents across Texas openly violating state law, but they are using district resources - that ought to be used for teacher merit raises or other educational benefits - to defend their unlawful political maneuvering," Paxton said in a statement on Friday.

The districts were in violation of both the Texas Disaster Act and an executive order signed by Governor Greg Abbott in July, Paxton said. That executive order banned mask mandates put in place by state or local governments, with exemptions for hospitals and the criminal justice system.

Paxton's office also published a list of almost 100 school districts and other government entities that it said were defying Abbott's ban. Paxton said another round of lawsuits might be filed against other districts.

The six school districts sued on Friday - Richardson, Round Rock, Galveston, Elgin, Spring, and Sherman - were each hit with a lawsuit, Paxton said.

Officials with the Spring district said they would "allow the courts to decide the merits of the case." They added that they only knew about the lawsuit because of Paxton's press statement, UPI reported.

In his statement, Paxton said the school districts should spend their money on education, not fighting statewide policies.

He said: "If districts choose to spend their money on legal fees, they must do so knowing that my office is ready and willing to litigate these cases. I have full confidence that the courts will side with the law - not acts of political defiance."

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