Dallas ISD to drop mask mandate despite omicron variant concerns

In spite of worries about a new wave of infections, the Dallas Independent School District will end its mask requirement next month.

"On MLK Day, we would have been through two holidays. We would have been through this new variant. We will know exactly where we are," said Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa.

The superintendent said masks will be optional for students after MLK Day in January.

He has previously pointed to a decrease in coronavirus cases in Dallas County and the availability of vaccines for younger children.

RELATED: Dallas ISD hopes to drop mask mandate soon

Dallas ISD has ignored Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates by government agencies, including school districts.

Now it will be up to parents to decide if their children should mask up.

"I am still going to have them wear a mask because we don’t know. So, it’s not safe," said Brenda Mendez, a parent in the district.

"We are going to focus on what the CDC recommends. Our oldest are vaccinated so the hope is the majority of other kids will get vaccinated, so we don’t have to worry about it as much," said James Barrett, another parent.

Dallas County reports an increase in vaccinations since the omicron variant emerged.

The state health department said about 60% of Texans ages 5 and up are fully vaccinated.

RELATED: Dallas ISD holds vaccination clinic for kids 5 to 11