FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — There are big changes on Fort Bend County's mask mandate, and that has sparked a stalemate between the county judge and the school district.
During an emergency meeting Wednesday, Fort Bend County KP George raised the county's COVID risk level from orange to red. He also announced he had filed a lawsuit against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, requesting a temporary restraining order for local governments to implement mask mandates.
Currently, local governments do not have the authority to issue mask mandates or stay-at-home orders.
“How do you strip local government of the power to protect public safety? You can not play with people’s lives, and I feel that the governor’s executive order causes harm and risks the health and safety of our public employees and their families, many of whom have school-age children," George said in a statement.
Wednesday evening, a district court approved the temporary restraining order which would allow him to enforce masks for schools and county buildings.
This leaves Fort Bend ISD caught in the middle of this fight.
The district said it's consulting its legal team on how to proceed to ensure enforcing the county's new mandate doesn't get them into trouble.
For now, the district said it's not requiring masks but strongly encourages them in school buildings.
Gov. Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton released a statement in response to similar lawsuits in San Antonio and Dallas saying the state will fight these lawsuits to protect the rights of all Texans.