Monday marks first day masks will be required in some area school districts

Amid a heated legal battle, Monday marks the first day that students in some area school districts will go back to class required to wear masks.

Spring ISD announced last week that all students and staff will be required to wear masks in their buildings.

Students who don't comply with the mask mandate will face consequences appropriate to their grade, the district said on its website. At the secondary level, students with repeat offenses could face after school detention and not be allowed to participate in both UIL and school-sponsored activities.

Galena Park released a similar update requiring all students, staff, teachers and visitors to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, while indoors on school property and school buses until further notice.

The district said it was legally required to comply after Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued an order mandating face coverings in schools.

Under the order issued last Thursday, all public and non-religious private schools along with licensed child care centers must follow the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the use of masks.

This means students ages 2 or older along with staff, teachers and visitors must wear a mask indoors while on campuses and on buses, regardless of vaccination status.

Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order preventing local Texas governments from requiring masks.

Despite COVID cases rising again and the rapid spread of the delta variant, Abbott has said he will not impose another statewide mask mandate.

It would be "inappropriate to require people who already have immunity to wear a mask," Abbott said.

Several other school districts locally and statewide have said they are going against Abbott's ban on mask mandates, including Austin ISD and Dallas ISD.

Houston ISD, the largest school district in Texas, approved a mask mandate last Thursday that will apply to all students, staff, and visitors as well as on buses and in facilities.

HISD students return to campus on Aug. 23.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Ken Paxton has taken the fight over mask mandates and schools to the state supreme court.

"The rule of law will decide," he said in a tweet.

See what area school districts have decided so far in this ongoing list.

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