Last week, we were alerted to flagrant violations of law on the part of Garland ISD, a district with over 50,000 students in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. An unnamed nurse sent out email communication to parents and staff about a “known exposure” to someone who was “test-confirmed with COVID-19”. The email informs students and staff that they may be required to take a COVID-19 test in order to return to campus and, even if symptom-free, force-masked for several days.
A link is included in the message to self-report COVID positivity (and, presumably, tell on others) through an online portal, which may or may not be secure. Shockingly, school staff are required to divulge their vaccination status if they report they are positive for COVID!
This cannot stand! TFVC is committed to quashing this overreach, much of which is in violation of not only SB29, which went into effect on September 1, but SB968 from the 87th legislative session, as well. We sent a letter to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath and the Office of Governor Greg Abbott to inform them of this urgent situation and to demand that TEA provide binding guidance to school districts to keep them in compliance with current state law regarding COVID mitigation strategies.
We fully expect that more districts will push the bounds of the law, if not completely disregard it; we witnessed this in the 2021-22 school year when many large school districts like Austin ISD, Round Rock ISD, and Dallas ISD ignored the Governor’s Executive Order banning mask mandates in Texas schools. TFVC will remain vigilant in calling out this bad behavior and holding districts accountable.
How can you help?
- Call and email TEA Commissioner Mike Morath and urge him to hold districts accountable! 512-463-8985 [email protected]
Sample message: “Commissioner Morath, schools need strict guidance on how to comply with current Texas laws with regard to COVID restrictions and policies, and you need to hold them accountable when they violate the rights of students, parents and staff!”
- Urge Governor Greg Abbott to add medical liberty to the next special session call!