FORT WORTH, Texas - The 84,000 students in the Fort Worth Independent School District had to mask up for only a few hours Monday as legal wrangling over the mandate continued.
A mask mandate was in place Monday morning when students showed up for school. But around lunchtime, it was reversed after the district was ordered to abandon the requirement by a court.
The ruling from Tarrant County’s Second Court of Appeals "… orders defendant Scribner and the Fort Worth Independent School District and its agents to cease enforcement actions of the face-covering rule…"
It was the latest move resulting from a lawsuit brought against the district by a small group of parents. They argue superintendent Kent Scribner cannot violate the governor’s ban on mask mandates.
Fort Worth ISD said in court the governor does not have legal oversight of the district’s policies. It also contends the court hearing the appeal is not in a position to determine the final outcome.
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The FWISD policy is like the one the district had in place during the last school year -- masks required inside school buildings and optional outdoors.
However, the appeals court cited a previous ruling by the Texas Supreme Court in favor of the governor, declaring that his authority should remain the status quo pending further review.
Jennifer Treger and Todd Daniels are two of the parents associated with the lawsuit.
"I think parents know what's best for their children and they can decide if they want them to wear a mask or not," Treger said.
Todd daniel, parent 10:30
"At some point, we've got to move on," Daniel said. "And I think the numbers are down low enough where the time is now. We've got to go. We're ok."
The numbers are lower than they were at the start of the month. But they’re still some of the highest they’ve ever been during the pandemic.
On Monday, there were 100 pediatric patients were in hospitals with no staffed pediatric ICU beds available.
In Fort Worth ISD, there are currently 957 active COVID cases among students.
Warren Norred is the attorney for the parents in the lawsuit. He says this isn’t the end to the courtroom back and forth on masks, but he believes when the end comes the governor will win.
"The governor is going to wind up winning. This discussion through GA 38 is going to be found to be completely, completely enforceable," Norred said.
Parents who spoke with FOX 4 during Monday morning drop-off didn’t voice any strong opposition to masking.
"I’m fine with a mask requirement. I think it’s better for kids to wear them, still," said parent Joyce Kogmang,
"I like it. It protects our kids as well as us. I have no problem with it my kids don’t have a problem with it. So we’re all for it," said parent Gema Gutierrez.
"I’m either or, whatever. My kid needs to be in school so that’s what I care about," said parent Carla Correljo.
Fort Worth ISD said it will still be "strongly encouraging" mask-wearing at its campuses.