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Parents, students protest mask orders at Texas governor's mansion

Despite Gov. Abbott's executive order preventing mask mandates at Texas schools, many districts are choosing to enforce them anyway.

AUSTIN, Texas — As many school districts are heading back to school this week, a group of children and parents gathered outside of the governor's mansion on Monday morning, urging Gov. Greg Abbott to drop his stance on opposing mask mandates in schools.

The event was hosted by Austin Voices for Education and Youth and Education Austin.

"Students want to go back to schools that are promoting COVID-19 safety, including following masking requirements," organizers said in a press release. "Parents want their children to be smart and safe. Kids of all ages will gather (masked and socially distanced) at the Governor's mansion (parents welcome too!) to let the governor know they want him to join them in being SMART and SAFE!"

Many school districts across the state, including Austin ISD, have announced that they will go against the governor's executive order and enforce face mask mandates for safety as the state experiences another surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

On Sunday, the Texas Supreme Court granted stay orders against temporary restraining orders issued by appellate courts in San Antonio and Dallas allowing school districts to enforce mask mandates of their own. A temporary injunction hearing, which is not affected by Sunday's stay order, is scheduled for Monday.

Last week, a district judge upheld Austin-Travis County's masks mandates currently issued for schools, colleges and government buildings across the area.

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