CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — West Oso Independent School District students, staff and visitors are no longer required to wear masks on district property.
A special called board meeting at the district's administration building on Monday at noon led to tense moments and the 3-2 vote to rescind their mask mandate.
“I hope that each and every one of you, when one of our employees or one of our students dies of COVID, I hope that you all will be able to live with yourself,” board member Liz Gutierrez said on the podium before they voted.
Visibly upset, she left when the decision was made.
“You got all of these variants coming. What are you gonna do when we don’t have any teachers?” Gutierrez said. “What are you gonna do when we don’t have any subs as it is?”
Back on August 16, the district's board of trustees approved 7-0 vote for a district wide mask mandate before the fall semester even began.
It was move that superintendent Conrado Garcia says worked.
“Our numbers are extremely low, but we’ve come to realize that unfortunately can’t take on the governor,” Garcia said. Garcia said he feared Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton would sue the district if they continued going against his executive order banning districts from mandating masks.
“We are caught in the middle here of trying to do what’s right and yet our very own politicals don’t support,” Garcia said.
He said he doesn’t want to waste years of tax payer money.
“If the big bad wolf wants to sue us let him sue us but we have to protect our students and our staff,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez and Mario Rincon voted against taking away masks. Both had family members who recently passed away from COVID-19.
“For us to retreat from this policy is wrong in my opinion,” Rincon said.
Garcia said masks are no longer required but highly encouraged.
“Do we wanna see any kid die or get hurt?” Garcia said. “Of course, we don’t. This was a very difficult decision.”