Houston ISD is contemplating a masks mandate subsequent week, the superintendent says

Photo by Alejandro Serrano

August 5, 2021 Updated: August 5, 2021 8:47 pm

Melissa Phillip, Houston Chronicle / Photographer

Houston ISD Superintendent Millard House II said Thursday it plans to propose a mask mandate for ratification ahead of the district’s board meeting next week.

Under the mandate, all district students and staff are expected to wear masks in facilities and buses, House said during Thursday night’s session. If approved, the mandate will be one of the first of its kind in the Houston area since Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning such guidelines.

Earlier this week, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told city officials that they must wear masks again when they are at work and cannot socialize. Following the announcement, The Chronicle interviewed 32 school districts in the area about their masking plans. At least 17 districts said they would not challenge the governor’s order by introducing masked mandates, despite the spike in COVID-19 cases in the area’s hospitals.

“We know we’re going to face headwinds for this,” House said. “We won’t be able to please everyone. But we have to understand: if we have the opportunity to save a life, we should do it.”

This is a breaking news item that will be updated.

Alejandro Serrano is a reporter for the Houston Chronicle.

Before coming to Houston, Alejandro oversaw police officers and courts in San Francisco. The Long Island native and northeastern graduate also helped with coverage of the forest fires and coronavirus.

In his spare time he enjoys playing guitar, reading and hiking.

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