Update: School officials have announced that a temporary mask mandate will be in place for all employees inside school buildings and buses beginning Friday, and will be applied to all kids and visitors this Monday.

The Ector County Independent School Board (ECISD) is set to consider requiring their students and employees to wear masks, possibly in defiance of state law at an emergency meeting to be held this Thursday. 

If a mandate is passed, the school board would join roughly 60 other school boards who are defying Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order banning local mask mandates. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office is currently suing any local districts that impose mandates in violation of the governor’s order. 

Paxton issued a statement describing the local mandates as a “wave of lawlessness” and wrote that citizens can report violations of the governor’s executive order, such as local mask mandates to the attorney general by emailing maskmandate@oag.texas.gov.

It remains to be seen exactly what action the school board will take, and whether they will risk being sued by the attorney general by making the mask requirement mandatory.  

The meeting is set to take place this Thursday, August 26 at 6:00 PM at the school administration building on 802 N Sam Houston in Odessa.  

The meeting is open to the public to attend. 

Matt Stringer is a journalist from Odessa, Texas.