Texas Private Christian School Defends Right to Open Doors
Austin, Texas – Cameron County and its government health authority recently told school officials at a private Christian religious school in South Texas that they may not open, despite state legal guidance to the contrary. After seeing a letter of guidance from Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office, Laguna Madre Christian Academy’s leadership notified Cameron County that they would be opening on August 31, with an enrollment of 20 students.
First Liberty Institute, the school’s legal counsel, has argued that the school opening is legal under state law, referring to Attorney General Paxton’s letter. In it, Paxton wrote “Under the Governor’s orders, local governments are prohibited from closing religious institutions or dictating mitigation strategies to those institutions.” Cameron County has said that it believes Paxton’s legal analysis is flawed.
Texas Values has been providing legal and policy analysis on these constitutional issues in Texas.
Jonathan Covey, Director of Policy for Texas Values said, “Not only has Attorney General Paxton been very consistent about the right of Texas schools to decide when to open for themselves, General Paxton gave special reassurance that local governments must not infringe on a religious private school’s right to open. COVID-19 is no excuse for local officials to disregard religious liberty. Texas Values fully supports this Christian school and we stand ready to assist the efforts of First Liberty Institute in their important defense of our constitutional rights.”
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