Parent Assaults Teacher, Rips Mask Off Her Face As Texas Mask Mandate Debate Continues

Amid an overheated debate about mask mandates in Texas schools, one parent assaulted a teacher by tearing a mask off her face, Eanes Independent School District Superintendent Tom Leonard said in a statement Tuesday.

Texas has once again emerged as a hotspot for coronavirus, with multiple hospitals reporting shortages of ICU beds. Nonetheless, Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who was recently diagnosed with a breakthrough case of COVID-19, has devoted considerable energy in recent weeks to banning mask mandates. Some local officials ― including Travis County, where the Eanes ISD is located ―have defied his executive order, making mask-wearing mandatory in public schools.

“The last few days leading to the start of school have been a whirlwind of information and action from governors, attorneys general, judges, mayors, superintendents, and even principals,” Leonard said. “While many may not agree on the particulars (i.e., masks or no masks), we all want students to be safe, and we all should treat each other respectfully.”

He said some parents have physically and verbally attacked teachers about the masks, adding that this type of behavior would not be tolerated.

“A parent physically assaulted a teacher by ripping a mask off her face, others yelling at a teacher to take off her mask because they could not understand what the teacher was saying while her face was covered,” he said.

The incidents illustrate the increasingly fraught debate around mask rules in the state even as kids return to in-person classes. The latest nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases, propelled by the delta variant, has affected more children than ever before. To date, no one under the age of 12 may be vaccinated from the coronavirus.

Leonard called on parents to show courtesy towards school staff, whom he described as being “on the front lines of this pandemic.”

“Please, I am asking everyone to be kind…do not fight mask wars in our schools,” he said.

Calling all HuffPost superfans!

Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter

Tyson Houlding
Tyson Houlding is a 28-year-old associate at a law firm who enjoys walking, writing, and learning new languages. He is creative and bright, but can also be very unfriendly and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian who defines himself as straight. He has a post-graduate degree in law.