Earlier this week Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he was suing several school districts who had instituted mask mandates. Paxton has been adamant about enforcing Greg Abbott’s executive order GA-38 which prevents any local lawmaker or school district from implementing safety measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Paxton’s latest move comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations with children have reached alarming numbers. Dr. James Versalovic, the interim pediatrician-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, told CBS News that they were recording “record levels” of children sick with COVID-19. A vaccine for COVID-19 is not yet available for children under the age of twelve, though the CDC has indicated that could be changing soon.
When public schools opened for the fall a few weeks ago, several superintendents announced they were defying Abbott’s executive order and instituting mask mandates. Paris ISD went a different route by adding a mask requirement to their school dress code.
Paris ISD was one of nine school districts that Paxton countered this week in his legal filing. Paxton also warned that “there will be more to come as lawlessness continues across the state.”
Following Paxton’s lawsuit, a Lamar County district court, where Paris is located, announced a temporary restraining order barring the mask mandate. According to a lawyer with Paris ISD, Paxton’s office did not notify the school district about the lawsuit until after the judge ruled in the hearing.
In addition to preventing schools from instituting health and safety measures meant to keep children safe, Paxton has remained busy with more shameful antics. Last week he was forced to delete a social media post with a bizarre and inappropriate 9/11 image. He also vowed to sue the Biden administration over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with over a hundred people.
On Thursday, House Freedom Caucus member State Rep. Matt Krause announced he was running in the Republican primary for Attorney General. Krause seemingly alluded to Paxton’s legal troubles as the impetus for him jumping into the race in an interview with The Texas Tribune. “I think Texas needs — and wants — an attorney general who can give his or her full focus to the job,” said Krause.
Six years ago Paxton was indicted by a federal grand jury on securities fraud. He is also currently under investigation by the FBI for abuse of office and bribery.
Photo: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images
A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).