Texas school district skirts governor's anti-mask mandate by adding them to the dress code
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

People have been debating the merits and madness of school dress codes for years, arguing over how much shoulder, thigh, and collarbone should be visible in the classroom. But now a Texas school district has added a whole new layer to the dress code question—how much face should students be showing in the midst of a viral pandemic?

The Board of Trustees at Paris Independent School District in northeast Texas has decided to add masks to the school district's dress code, a move that circumvents the governor's ban on school mask mandates. Now instead of policing spaghetti straps and skirt lengths, schools can send home kids who are maskless or wear their masks as chin diapers. (Only enforcing masks makes a whole lot more sense for students' safety and well-being than a plunging neckline.)

"The Texas Governor does not have the authority to usurp the Board of Trustees' exclusive power and duty to govern and oversee the management of the public schools of the district," the district stated in a press release. "Nothing in the Governor's Executive Order 38 states he has suspended Chapter 11 of the Texas Education Code, and therefore the Board has elected to amend its dress code consistent with its statutory authority."

According to The Paris News, the decision came after an emergency meeting between board members, school employees, parents, and members of the local medical community. Though some parents objected to requiring masks, there were enough doctors, parents, and staff who wanted masks to be required that the board decided to take action.

The motion was passed 5-1, with the one dissenting board member saying that while he was not against masks, he believed using a loophole to skirt Gov. Greg Abbott's mask mandate ban was against the oath of office of the board members.

The change to the school dress code is not permanent and will be revisited each month.

Even though Governor Abbott has used his state government authority to ban local government from mandating masks in schools, there's apparently nothing he can do about a school district's dress code. Sometimes loopholes are necessary, especially when the health and well-being of everyone in the community is on the line.

No one loves to see kids in masks, but it's a far better option than giving a highly contagious variant free reign in schools. Kudos to the Paris ISD Board of Trustees for finding a way to get around a ban that makes zero logical sense in the middle of a pandemic, especially when the local hospital already ran out of ventilators and kids under 12 don't even have the option of being vaccinated yet.


1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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