TEMPLE, Texas – Local school districts react to Governor Greg Abbott’s announcement about mask mandate being lifted.
Most school districts informed staff and parents that wearing a mask in school with stay the norm.
“I don’t want to make a decision as a superintendent at this point that will compromise or risks the health and safety of students or staff, or that also further compromises any academic achievement,” says Temple ISD Superintendent Bobby Ott.
Dr. Ott says he does not want to put the staff and students in another phase of uncertainty.
“Any time that we can grab some level of normalcy and stability, in this case, the protocols to help us [plan] the school year as smooth as possible. I think [this] is a good thing,” says Dr. Ott.
When the pandemic first hit, Temple and the other school districts worked closely with health departments on safety protocols, so they are making changes without getting their advice.
Waco ISD expects face coverings to be worn in any shared spaces on campuses and other facilities for the rest of the school year.
The same is true for Killeen, Belton, and Copperas Cove – all are awaiting advice from the Texas Education Agency.
The Killeen Educator’s Association called Governor Abbott’s announcement “foolhardy” – the group is urging everyone to continue to wear a mask, whether it is mandatory or not.
Temple’s Dr. Ott is in no hurry to change what is working for his district.
“Our case count has been so low in Temple ISD. I would say one of the lowest in schools districts in our size anywhere in the state. We haven’t closed a single school this year because of COVID,” says Dr. Ott.