KILLEEN, Texas – The debate of wearing a mask or not has been a topic of discussion for the past few weeks – and the Killeen group Safe Schools for all Texas is demanding for Killeen ISD to implement a mask policy in all schools.
Most schools across Central Texas are back in session – and while masks are not required, they are strongly encouraged.
With COVID-19 cases still on the rise, members of Safe Schools for all Texas wants the Killeen School District to mandate masks for the safety of all children, staff and the community.
Former Killeen teacher and member of Safe Schools for all Texas Irene Andrews says she is determined to apply pressure on Killeen ISD until there is a change.
“We’re talking about a pandemic with a Delta variant that is highly infectious,” Andrews said. “It doesn’t care who you are. It looks for you, and it goes from host to host – infecting one person after the other.”
Andrews says the Killeen NAACP, Killeen Educators Association, parents and many others are taking a stand on Tuesday for a Show up & Stand Up rally during the Killeen board meeting.
She says at the previous meeting, parents came pleading with the Board to mandate masks – and there was still no urgency to make the change.
“We all want schools to stay open and children to be able to learn in person, and businesses to stay open, too. How do we get there?,” Andrews said. “We can look around the state. All these districts that are already shut down, who started a week before KISD.”
Many schools across Texas have started to enforce mask mandates – including Dallas ISD, Austin ISD, Houston ISD and Marlin ISD.
Parent Vernell Mack says her grandson just started school, and he is already sick.
“Not only do I want a mask mandate, I want those children that’s in every school to be of importance to the people who are in the superintendent’s building, as well as the Governor,” Mack said.
Mack says the schools are too crowded, and that they lack the proper tools to protect children – like plexi-glass, sanitation stations and mask stations.
The Texas Supreme Court refused to block injunctions against Governor Abbott’s ban on mask mandates, giving schools the option to temporarily mandate masks if they choose to.
“KISD has a lot to answer for,” Andrews said.