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Paris ISD, Defying Abbott, Adds Masks To Dress Code

Paris ISD is one of three school districts serving Paris.
BJ Laudermilk
Paris ISD is one of three school districts serving Paris.

The Paris Independent School District has made face coverings part of the district’s dress code. The move was made in defiance of Texas governor Greg Abbott’s ban on local mask mandates.In a special meeting Tuesday evening, the Paris ISD Board of Trustees authorized the change in advance of classes beginning Thursday. The Paris News reported that the trustees voted 5-1 on the change, with Clifton Fendley casting the dissenting vote.

"The Texas Governor does not have the authority to usurp the Board of Trustees’ exclusive power and duty to govern and oversee the management of the public schools of the district,” a release from Paris ISD said after the meeting. “Nothing in the Governor’s Executive Order 38 states he has suspended Chapter 11 of the Texas Education Code, and therefore the Board has elected to amend its dress code consistent with its statutory authority."

The vote came after an hour of testimonial, both for and against the dress code change, from district staff, parents and medical professionals, The Paris News reported. Local medical professionals supported the inclusion of face coverings in the dress code, The Paris News said.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.