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'Texas Beat Biden Again': Federal Judge Stops Mask, Vaccine Mandates in State's Head Start Programs

01-01-2022
Image Source: Unsplash/Pete Alexopoulos
Image Source: Unsplash/Pete Alexopoulos

A federal judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction Friday, saying the federal government cannot enforce mask or vaccine mandates upon staff or students in Head Start programs.

U.S. District Court Judge James Wesley Hendrix issued the order in response to the state of Texas and Lubbock Independent School District's request for a temporary restraining order, KXAN News reports.

Lubbock ISD is challenging a rule from the Department of Health and Human Services, mandating all staff and volunteers at federally-funded Head Start programs to be fully immunized against COVID-19 by Jan. 31. The order also requires everyone, including students, to wear masks indoors.

Head Start is a program that prepares toddlers and pre-school children in low-income families for school.

According to KCBD-TV, the district has statements from some parents, indicating that they will remove their kids from the program, and from employees who say they'll quit over the mandate.

Lubbock ISD Superintendent Kathy Rollo testified that making young students wear masks is a distraction. And it's harder for them to learn when their teachers' faces are concealed. 

Texas leaders celebrated the ruling on Saturday with Gov. Greg Abbott tweeting, "Texas just beat Biden again."

He added, "Another of Biden's vaccine & mask mandates was just halted by a federal judge in Texas. The Court writes: 'It is undisputed that an agency cannot act without Congressional authorization.' That would apply to all of Biden's orders."

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who filed a lawsuit regarding these mandates earlier this month, expressed his excitement over the court's ruling on Friday.

"I just halted another illegal fed vax & mask mandate. HAPPY NEW YEAR!"  

The news comes after Gov. Abbott asked President Biden to open additional COVID testing sites in Bexar, Cameron, Dallas, Harris, Hidalgo and Tarrant counties.

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