Texas AG Overrides Local School Order

Austin – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued a guidance letter to religious private schools in Texas, informing them that local public health orders attempting to restrict their reopenings violate the United States and Texas Constitutions and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Moreover, local orders seeking to restrict the reopening of religious private schools or institutions is inconsistent with Governor Abbott’s executive orders, and therefore, are invalid. This guidance comes after Austin and other localities banned public and private schools from holding classes or extracurricular activities.

Jonathan Saenz, President and Attorney for Texas Values said “This legal statement makes it clear, Texas religious and private schools do not have to follow local government orders that have banned these schools from opening and having in person instruction and extracurricular activities. I could not agree more with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is the top law enforcement officer in our state. We are prepared to defend these freedoms in Texas wherever and whenever necessary. Let freedom ring and let the school bell ring.”

Attorney General Ken Paxton said “As the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed just last week, there are robust constitutional and statutory protections unique to religious individuals and communities, specifically including religious private schools,” said Attorney General Paxton. “In accordance with the protections granted by the First Amendment and Texas law, this guidance allows religious private schools to determine for themselves when to reopen free from any government mandate or interference.”

Read a copy of the letter here.

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