Parents file lawsuit against Round Rock ISD over mask mandate

A group of 15 parents has filed a lawsuit against Round Rock ISD to put an end to the district’s mask mandate.

In August, Round Rock ISD passed a temporary mask mandate for all campuses to protect its students and staff against COVID-19. A mandate that is set to expire on September 17th unless the school board renews it.

Jared Woodfill is the attorney representing the Round Rock parents in this lawsuit and says the decision is a blatant violation of Governor Greg Abbott's order.

"The rule of law here is very clear as articulated by Governor Abbott in GA38: ISDs cannot put mask mandates in place. What they're doing is illegal, what they continue to do now for weeks is illegal, and it's time that they be held accountable and that they follow the law in the state of Texas," said Woodfill.

In the lawsuit, the parents say masks should not be required onboard school buses or inside buildings. They also claim masks do not protect against the virus and are causing their kids to experience a list of different health issues. 

These claims have been debunked by local health officials including Williamson County's Dr. Amanda Norwood who told FOX 7 Austin previously that masks should be worn in school to keep kids safe and healthy. "By wearing that mask and social distancing, you're not only protecting yourself, but you're also protecting people around you who may not know what they've got going on," said Dr. Norwood.

Round Rock ISD’s Chief of Public Affairs and Communications Jenny LaCoste-Caputo had this to say in response to the lawsuit:

"Current Texas Education Agency guidance provides that school systems may require the use of masks or face shields for adults or students for whom it is developmentally appropriate and schools should work closely with local health authorities as we weigh operational decisions. In Round Rock ISD, we do work closely with our health partners who advise us that masks remain a critical tool in keeping our staff, students, and community healthy and our schools open."

The lawsuit states the parents are seeing monetary relief of $250,000 or less and the end of the mask mandate. "To allow the parents to be able to make the decision as to what is in the best interest of their children and clearly this ISD thinks parents aren't capable of making that decision," said Woodfill.

A hearing on this lawsuit is set to take place on September 23rd. 

Round Rock ISD parents no longer able to opt kids out of mask mandate
Round Rock ISD school board passes temporary mask mandate
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