Garland ISD Superintendent Ricardo Lopez said the district has decided to "intervene" in the lawsuit between Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott over mask mandates.
In a letter sent to Garland ISD families and staff Wednesday, Lopez said the decision to intervene is not for political reasons, instead "to obtain clarity as to what Garland ISD's policies should be with regard to masks."
Jenkins filed a temporary restraining order on Monday against Abbott's mask mandate ban, part of the governor's executive order GA-38. After a judge ruled in favor of Jenkins, he issued an emergency order on Wednesday, requiring masks in all Dallas County public schools and commercial entities.
In response, Abbott said "any school district, public university, or local government official that decides to defy the order will be taken to court" in a press release Wednesday.
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"Please understand we are not intervening in this lawsuit for political reasons, or to push one agenda over another," Lopez said. "The district simply wants clarifications as to which order it is required to follow."
Lopez did not provide any more details on what exactly the district will do when it "intervenes."
But the superintendent did say Garland ISD will follow Jenkins' order requiring masks while the lawsuit is pending.
"Our number one goal is, and has always been, to provide students with a safe and effective educational environment where all students feel comfortable and can achieve their potential," Lopez said to end the letter. "We look forward to a safe and productive school year, and hope that obtaining a resolution of this lawsuit will allow the district to fully devote its time, effort and resources to students, rather than to seeking to understand the many competing current and future orders of state and local officials."