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Abilene ISD Will Not Require Masks In Schools

Paige Taylor
Dozens of citizens spoke on the proposal to require masks in AISD.

Abilene Independent School District board of trustees voted NOT to require students to wear masks to school.  There are currently 194 active cases of COVID-19 in AISD, an increase of more than 2,600% from the same period last year, when the district had only recorded seven cases.  The high spread of cases has prompted a lot of discussion about whether Abilene should join dozens of other Texas school districts that have defied Governor Abbott’s ban on requiring face coverings in schools.

Parents, doctors, students, and teachers attended the special-called meeting to speak on the issue.  Joanna Frick was among many that said masking should be up to the parents, not AISD, "I'm the parent. You're not. I get to decide. You don't. The children are not the ones that are being severely affected by Covid whether it is the Delta variant or the original variant that came out."

Dr. Lesley Pickett shared a different opinion. She said that masks should be required in schools while dealing with the Delta variant, "I thought we were over Covid. I thought we were not having to wear our masks and then I started seeing what Delta was doing to our young people. Not just our kids, but their parents. Our hospitals full of 20-50 year olds, several that haven't lived. And so as I come to you I don't want to do masks, but I think it's evident that we have to do while this Delta variant peaks."

Trustee Daryl Zeller thanked the public for their input on this important matter, and said input is always welcome no matter the topic. 

When it was time to vote the motion failed three to two, with two members abstaining.