A federal judge in Texas ruled Wednesday that Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning mask mandates in schools violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, setting the stage for school districts in the state to decide whether they want to impose mask rules.
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote in a 29-page ruling that the ADA, a federal law enacted in 1990, supersedes Abbott’s July order banning facial coverings in schools.
“The spread of COVID-19 poses an even greater risk for children with special health needs. Children with certain underlying conditions who contract COVID-19 are more likely to experience severe acute biological effects and to require admission to a hospital and the hospital’s intensive-care unit,” Yeakel said. “This includes children with conditions including, Down syndrome, organ transplants, lung conditions, heart conditions, and weakened immune systems.”