EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Texas State Teachers Association issued a statement on Tuesday, calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to withdraw his prohibition on mask mandates and allow individual school districts to require mask use in their facilities if local officials believe masks will help protect the health of their communities as schools reopen for the fall semester.

This announcement comes as the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control backtracked on its mask guidance in areas where COVID-19 transmission is rising as well as recommended public schools embrace universal masking regardless of vaccination status.

TSTA President Ovidia Molina said educators are eager to return to the classroom, but the pandemic is still dangerous.

“With COVID-19 cases increasing again and many people still unvaccinated, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that everyone older than 2 wear a mask when they go back to school. Children younger than 12 have not yet been approved for the COVID vaccine,” Molina said in a statement.

Molina said Governor Abbot should let school districts and local school officials and health experts the option of requiring masks in their schools.

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