HISD removes mask mandate, but some parents think it should remain

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston Independent School District has announced that masks will no longer be required on campuses, buildings, or buses beginning March 1.

It was a move the president of the Houston Federation of Teachers saw coming.

"We expected it because of the CDC relaxing the guidance around mask requirements," said Jackie Anderson. "We've always asked that we follow the science."

HISD Superintendent Millard House II cited the science and the decrease in COVID-19 numbers as the reason why the district has removed the mandate. HISD's COVID-19 dashboard shows there are currently 169 active cases among students and staff in the district.

This year's high is 502 cases reported on Jan. 4.

"The virus is still circulating in our communities, but we have all the tools that we didn't have several months ago," said House.

Students and staff will still receive tests, masks, and COVID information from their school, but some Lamar High School parents said it's too soon to make masks optional.

"(HISD) should keep (the mandate) a little bit longer," said parent Cat Dominguez. "A lot of students tend to be careless at times, and that does put students at risk."

House said the district will continue to monitor the numbers and readdress the reversal if numbers spike.

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