October 17, 2021

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14 children with disabilities file 1st federal lawsuit versus Gov. Abbott around mask mandate ban

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Fourteen little one plaintiffs and their people — including a few from central Texas — have filed the initial federal lawsuit versus Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Training Agency Commissioner Mike Morath, advocacy team Disability Rights Texas stated Wednesday.

The go well with alleges the state’s government get, which prohibits university districts from imposing mask mandates, puts children with disabilities “at significant possibility, is discriminatory, and violates the federal People in america with Disabilities Act and Area 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act.”

According to the lawsuit, the get discriminates against pupils with disabilities and their legal rights to public schooling programs. Quite a few of the plaintiffs, which have different degrees of disabilities, could be at an greater hazard of health-related problems and loss of life due to their underlying medical problems, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit seeks a federal non permanent restraining get which would stop enforcement of the govt purchase and allow faculty districts and neighborhood community well being authorities the skill to freely demand masks.

There are 14 anonymous boy or girl plaintiffs ranging from 7 to 11 decades aged. 3 plaintiffs are from central Texas, such as Travis, Hays and Williamson counties.

Austin mother Rebecca McCormick is filing on behalf of her 8-yr-aged son. He has down syndrome and a historical past of lung problems. The slightest chilly sticks with him for months. So McCormick is terrified to deliver him into a building where by unmasked students could easily transfer respiratory health issues.

“We want to observe what the CDC is indicating and what our pediatrician recommends, and that is for unvaccinated people to be sporting a mask,” McCormick explained. “We as a neighborhood want to feel about how our selections affect other individuals and the penalties of those choices. I imagine that masking works and it will help avert the unfold of COVID and save lives.”

When asked for a response to the complaints in just the lawsuit, an Abbott spokesperson responded: “Governor Abbott cares deeply about the overall health and protection of disabled students, as he does for all Texas pupils. Considering the fact that his accident that left him paralyzed, the Governor has labored during his vocation to safeguard the rights of all those with disabilities in Texas.”

The Texas Education Agency refused to remark on pending litigation.

Numerous mother and father even now aspect with Governor Abbott’s government order, indicating they have no dilemma if other kids don masks, just do not expect all people to. Jennifer Stevens with the team Eanes Little ones To start with pushed other people to rally for parental-option.

“We have to have educational facilities to educate looking through, producing, arithmetic. What I do not need to have them undertaking is educating them issues that I really should be educating my young children,” Stevens reported. “I do consider in flexibility and I think that’s worth battling for.”

Abbott has faced increased statewide and national scrutiny for his resistance of mandates, particularly in light-weight of his recent COVID-19 diagnosis, for which the governor been given Regeneron monoclonal antibody remedy, which isn’t offered for most individuals. Response to the news ranged from guidance, to statements of hypocrisy and comprehensive-on Schadenfraude.

“Greg Abbott attended a crowded, maskless indoor political event and now he regretably has COVID,” reported Texas Democrat Julián Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and City Growth. “He’s having VIP therapy — a 3rd booster shot, Regeneron — unavailable to every day Texans. It is the height of hypocrisy for him not to enable educational facilities have to have masks.”

Meanwhile Texas Rep. Diego Bernal tweeted in component: “I do not would like it [COVID-19] on anyone… I do would like they [Texas Republicans] experienced that power when Dems got unwell, and for those people without the need of obtain to a fraction of the treatment the Gov. is finding ideal now.”

Arrive at KXAN’s Training Reporter Alex Caprariello by email at [email protected] or by phone at 512-703-5365, or uncover him on Twitter and Fb.