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At the outset of the pandemic, Governor Abbott suspended portions of the Texas Open Meetings Act making it easier for school boards to meet by telephone or videoconference. That suspension ends at 12:01 a.m. on September 1, 2021. Starting on September 1, 2021, boards must again comply with all parts of the TOMA. Telephonic and videoconference meetings are still viable options for school boards, but certain prerequisites must be met.

Callahan County Sheriff's Office deputies are investigating an alleged sexual assault at Eula High School. According to a news release shared on the Callahan County Facebook page, the incident took place during eighth period (between 2:45 and 3:20 p.m.) at Eula High School on Sept. 15. view article arw

According to the lawsuit obtained by KXAN, Austin Parents for Medical Choice, Loni Faye Neuffer, Steve Wagner, Sarah Wagner, Collette Antoine, Tom Lonsdale are listed as plaintiffs.  The lawsuit states: view article arw

AUSTIN - Under existing Texas laws, the Secretary of State has the authority to conduct a full and comprehensive forensic audit of any election and has already begun the process in Texas’ two largest Democrat counties and two largest Republican counties—Dallas, Harris, Tarrant, and Collin—for the 2020 election. We anticipate the Legislature will provide funds for this purpose. view article arw

While the board could not vote or discuss censuring the trustees, a heated debate ensued during public comments. The district's mask mandate was also discussed.  — A Williamson County judge on Wednesday granted a restraining order against Round Rock ISD, blocking its board from voting on censuring two trustees on the heels of controversial meetings in weeks past.   The two trustees in question were Mary Bone and Danielle Weston, whose actions the district claims led to a disruption of the Sept. 14 board meeting.   The resolutions presented at the board meeting said Bone and Weston “repeatedly insisted on calling for a vote on spacing rules for the Sept. 14, 2021 board meeting even though this matter was not on the agenda.”     (23) view article arw

AG Opinion: KP-0387

September 2405:00 AM
 

Re: Whether House Bill 1525 requires school districts to accept PTA donations designated to fund supplemental educational staff positions and use funds donated for that purpose for the 2021–2022 school year (RQ-0411-KP)   view article arw

A Crowley ISD teacher was placed on administrative leave after a video showing him forcefully pinning down a student circulated on social media. Calling the video “disturbing and unacceptable,” the school district said in a statement Wednesday that it was investigating the use of excessive force at the Crowley Ninth Grade Campus. view article arw

A new temporary restraining order issued by a Williamson County district court has blocked the Round Rock ISD school board from censuring two board trustees at a meeting Wednesday evening. view article arw

The Round Rock Independent School District Board of Trustees voted 5-2 late Wednesday night to extend its mask requirements. Trustees Mary Bone and Danielle Weston voted no. With the vote, the district will move forward with Superintendent Dr. Hafedh Azaiez’ suggestion connecting the district’s mask rules to different COVID-19 risk stages set by Williamson and Travis County health authorities. view article arw

DALLAS - The federal government added Texas to the list of states it's investigating to see whether the governor's ban on schools requiring masks violates the law. The Dallas ISD superintendent says he is not changing its mask policy as the federal government is investigating what they call possible civil rights violations by the Texas Education Agency. Days after the TEA reinstated enforcement of Gov. Greg Abbott's ban on mask mandates, the U.S. Department of Education opened a civil rights investigation similar to probes already launched in six other states. (23) view article arw

Lamar County District Judge Wes Tidwell has issued a temporary injunction against Paris ISD for the inclusion of masks in its dress code. The hearing took place this morning at 9 a.m. Attorney General Ken Paxton requested the injunction, citing Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order banning local government officials from mandating masks. Paxton argues that Abbott is the "commander-in-chief" during times of disaster, and his orders are as good as state statute. Paris ISD argues the governor does not have the authority to usurp the Board of Trustees' power to oversee the management of the public schools in the district. view article arw

Ken Paxton is still suing Texas school districts even though some aren't enforcing mandates. 6 News asked Paxton what it would take to drop the lawsuits. WACO, Texas — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against four McLennan County School Districts this week: Waco, Midway, McGregor and La Vega ISD. The lawsuit alleges the districts are deliberately violating state law by ignoring Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order that bans mask mandates in schools (GA-38).  Midway and McGregor, however, both released statements saying they had not been enforcing a mask mandate and were disappointed to be named in the lawsuit. view article arw

The situation in Del Rio spiraled this week as more than 15,000 migrants, many of them from Haiti, arrived at the border in recent days, settling in a makeshift camp as they waited for CBP agents to process their petitions to stay in the U.S.  DEL RIO — The Biden administration said Saturday it was accelerating deportation flights and sending 400 federal agents to Del Rio to seize control of an escalating crisis as thousands of mostly Haitian immigrants continued streaming to the Texas city’s border, camping out in squalid conditions under its international bridge.  Customs and Border Protection temporarily shuttered its ports of entry there late Friday and re-routed international traffic 57 miles east to the nearby city of Eagle Pass, a move local officials worried could cost millions in trade losses if the closure lasts.    (20) view article arw

The Grapevine-Colleyville ISD school board approved a proposal Monday not to renew the contract of suspended Heritage High School principal James Whitfield. Board members voted 7-0 on a recommendation from Superintendent Robin Ryan and repeatedly said the vote was a "procedural" step that would allow Whitfield to make his case. view article arw

A federal document also says that misusing a person’s preferred pronouns could be considered harassment in some instances. Texas Republican officials have tried to pass state laws targeting transgender people’s access to bathrooms and school sports teams.  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration over recent federal guidance issued to protect LGBTQ people in the workplace, including a directive that says employees should be allowed to use the bathrooms, locker rooms and showers that correspond with their gender identity.  The guidance also clarifies that misuse of a person’s preferred pronouns could be considered harassment in certain circumstances.    (21) view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — On Thursday, the Round Rock Independent School District was told it had to drop its mask mandate.  A Williamson County District Court Judge said the school district does not have the authority “to issue or enforce” a mandate because of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order addressing masks in schools.  Executive order GA-38 states no government entity, including school districts, can require or mandate masks. view article arw

Texas school districts push back against lawsuits filed in 'cowardly manner' over mask mandates - HOUSTON - Some of the 15 Texas school districts that have been sued in the past week for defying Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's ban on mask mandates are pushing back against the lawsuits.   One school district said Wednesday that it doesn't have such a mandate and isn't sure why it's being sued, while another said the lawsuit against it was filed in a "cowardly manner."Keeping his promise to file lawsuits over what he has described as "unconstitutional mandates," state Attorney General Ken Paxton began suing school districts last week. view article arw

The Round Rock Independent School District did not make a decision on whether to extend its mask mandate Tuesday night after the meeting was disrupted several times by angry community members. They were overall upset at not being allowed in the main chamber for the meeting. Texas attorney general threatens legal action against school districts still enforcing mask mandates A spokesperson for RRISD says they let the room fill up as much as possible while abiding by social distancing guidelines. Once the room was full, people were put in an overflow room, where they could watch the meeting on television and come into the main room to talk — if they signed up to speak. view article arw

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton won a temporary restraining order stopping Paris ISD in North Texas from enforcing its mask requirement for students; Paris had attempted to use its dress code policy to circumvent Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on such mandates. Dennis Eichelbaum, lawyer for Paris ISD, said Paxton’s office — despite the fact Paxton had sent multiple letters threatening lawsuits beforehand — didn’t notify the district of the lawsuit until after the hearing was over, and the restraining order had been granted. Paris ISD didn’t get to make its case against the restraining order as a result, Eichelbaum said, describing it as “a cowardly move” from Paxton.... Paxton blasted out a press release trumpeting his victory in court over Paris ISD, describing it “as a win for the rule of law in Texas.” The release doesn’t mention that Paris’ attorneys weren’t present in court.    ((16) view article arw

A lawsuit filed by the Texas attorney general against Longview ISD adds to a growing battle over local control and mask mandates. The lawsuit was filed Monday afternoon and will be heard in the courtroom of Gregg County Court at Law No. 2 Judge Vincent Dulweber. The attorney general’s office is seeking a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction against Longview ISD until a trial can be held on the matter. Longview ISD implemented a requirement for people to wear masks on its campuses effective Aug. 23 as the number of COVID-19 cases in students and staff began to rise after school began. As of Wednesday, the district reported 169 active cases in students and staff. Longview High School has the most cases at 45, followed by 24 at the East Texas Montessori Prep Academy and 22 at Foster Middle School. view article arw

Paxton sues more school districts

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has unleashed another wave of lawsuits against school districts over their masking policies — but one of them says it doesn’t even require face coverings. Midway Independent School District is a Waco-area district that sits on a list compiled by the attorney general’s office of school districts and counties that have flouted Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban and put in place their own mask-wearing orders. The hitch? Midway ISD doesn’t mandate that students, teachers, school staff or visitors don masks while on school premises, a district spokesperson said Wednesday. Midway officials have tried to convince the attorney general’s office the district doesn’t have a mandate — but to no avail. view article arw

The Round Rock Independent School District did not make a decision on whether to extend its mask mandate Tuesday night after the meeting was disrupted several times by angry community members. They were overall upset at not being allowed in the main chamber for the meeting. view article arw

A Texas school district that included masks as part of its dress code has been hit with a temporary restraining order. Paris Independent School District (ISD), which serves about 3,900 students in northeast Texas, amended its dress code in early August to include masks in a loophole to Gov. Greg Abbott's ban on mandates, and was sued earlier this week by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, according to court documents. view article arw

Since Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued four Waco-area school districts Monday over mask mandates, one district has said it never had a mandate, one has said it has never enforced its mandate, and two have pointed to declines in new cases since their mandates took effect. The suit, filed in Waco’s 414th State District Court, alleges Waco, Midway, La Vega and McGregor ISDs are deliberately violating state law in the form of an executive order by Gov. Greg Abbott banning mask mandates by public schools and other state entities. view article arw

A North Texas construction company has accused the Arlington school district for refusing to pay over $1.2 million in emergency repairs after the winter storm in February. In a complaint filed June 28 in Tarrant County District Court, Robert Jordan Construction says it dried and dehumidified 450,000 square feet of Sam Houston High School after the school suffered widespread flooding, according to media reports. Owner Robert Jordan aired his grievance Sept. 12 in a seven-minute video on YouTube. “My company has not been paid one penny for the work we performed at Sam Houston,” Jordan said in the video. view article arw

The Mesquite Police Department and the Mesquite Independent School District were made aware of several online social media threats directed at multiple MISD high schools on Monday. The non-specific threats were related to an event that would happen on September 14, 2021. view article arw

Despite those protests calling on the board to mandate masks, things remain the same at Killeen ISD schools.  — Chanting outside of the Killeen ISD administration building, parents and community members gathered for the second time in less than a month calling on the school board again to consider mandating masks across the district.  Despite those protests calling on the board to mandate masks, things remain the same at Killeen ISD schools. view article arw

A federal class action lawsuit was filed against Allen ISD last week for what the plaintiffs allege to be a violation of the district’s “duty to assure the right to life of … all students” amid its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A violation of students’ 14th Amendment rights as codified by its Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses is also alleged. view article arw

Lufkin ISD arrested a Lufkin man on a charge of disorderly conduct Monday morning after an incident at Lufkin Middle School. David Wayne Wells, 63, refused to provide identification to the receptionist in order to attend a meeting, according to Sheila Adams, executive director of communications for LISD. Wells also was taking video and photos inside the foyer where students were present, she said. view article arw

The Texas Attorney General’s Office has assigned a new Assistant Attorney General to the case against John Stevens, the former Athens ISD bus driver charged in a fatal crash that left one student dead and another injured. The case is now scheduled for a jury trial in February.  The Texas Attorney General’s Office took over prosecution of the case in April after Henderson County District Attorney Jenny Palmer recused herself due to a conflict of interest.  Former prosecutor, Thomas Cloudt of the Texas Attorney General’s Office, resigned from his position and James Haugh has now been assigned to the case. Haugh took an oath as of Sept. 7 and did not pursue altering the indictment. view article arw

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Friday that he filed a lawsuit against Richardson ISD, following through on his pledge to sue school districts who mandate masks. The district defied Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order prohibiting local entities from requiring masks. The RISD trustees voted last week to affirm Superintendent Jeannie Stone’s decision to require face coverings, after they were forced to close an elementary school because of a spike in COVID-19 cases and a sixth grader was admitted into the intensive care unit. view article arw

The school district has implemented an employee vaccine mandate AUSTIN, Texas – Attorney General Paxton filed a lawsuit against the San Antonio Independent School District and Superintendent Pedro Martinez. San Antonio I.S.D. has mandated that all district employees must be vaccinated against Covid-19. This mandate violates Executive Order GA-39. Governor Greg Abbott implemented Executive Order GA-39 to prohibit governmental entities, such as school districts, from requiring individuals to be vaccinated against Covid-19, regardless of whether the vaccine is fully approved or authorized for emergency use only. view article arw

It's usually the state suing the feds, but now the federal government is suing Texas for outlawing abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. There are more lawsuits between the state and federal governments to come.  Merrick Garland has an interesting job. He gets up, goes to the office, sues the state of Texas and then goes home.  If that description of the U.S. attorney general’s job sounds familiar, it’s because it’s lifted from the campaign stump speeches of former Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who’s now the governor. “I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home.”  On Thursday, Garland sued to stop the state’s new ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, calling it “a scheme to nullify the Constitution of the United States,” because it blocks a right to abortion deemed constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. view article arw

HOUSTON - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on Friday six lawsuits were filed against several school districts regarding Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order, GA-38. According to a press release, the school districts include Richardson, Round Rock, Galveston, Elgin, Spring, and Sherman Independent School District. view article arw

RICHARDSON, Texas - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says he’s filing lawsuits against six school districts that are defying Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order regarding mask mandates. The governor says districts can’t have mask mandates, but SMU constitutional law professor Dale Carpenter says more than 80 districts across the state have them. "It’s just a question of who has authority," Carpenter said. "He could of chosen any number of school districts. He chose six specifically and we have no idea why."     (13) view article arw