By State Rep. John Turner
Texas House District 114
I represent a Dallas area with many private schools, which are not subject to the Governor’s order seeking to prohibit mask requirements. Nor were private schools covered by Judge Clay Jenkins’s order requiring masking. They have been, and are, free to adopt whatever policy they wish. What have they decided to do?
My office made calls to 21 private schools within or near my North Dallas district. Of these, only two schools told us that indoor masking will be optional. Four either had not yet finalized their protocols or couldn’t be reached. Fifteen are requiring masking indoors. Among those currently requiring indoor masking: Episcopal School of Dallas, Jesuit, Ursuline, St. Marks, Hockaday, Greenhill, St. Rita, Dallas International, Good Shepherd, Akiba and Yavneh Academies, and more.
I applaud these schools for making a responsible decision that is consistent with CDC guidance and the public health consensus. They are also helping our entire community at a time when the delta variant has led to a desperate situation in our hospitals.
Nobody enjoys masking. But it helps prevent the spread of the virus and provides peace of mind to families. It’s better than alternatives of having kids sit at home in front of a screen, shutting down schools, further overwhelming our hospitals, or adding to the sobering COVID death count.
So the question for Gov. Abbott and Attorney General Paxton: If these prominent private schools have the ability to make this decision to protect their students, employees, and families, why shouldn’t our public schools be able to make the same choice for theirs?