The board of trustees for the Paris Independent School District (PISD) in Texas has found a loophole in Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning mask mandates. The school district has decided to amend its dress code to include masks to help protect students and faculty from COVID-19.

“The board of trustees is concerned about the health and safety of its students and employees. The board believes the dress code can be used to mitigate communicable health issues, and therefore has amended the PISD dress code to protect our students and employees,” the school district said in a statement

“The Texas Governor does not have the power 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 added.

“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 statuary authority,” the district said.

The move comes after Abbott signed an executive order last month prohibiting any “governmental entity including a county, city, school district and public health authority” from enforcing mask or vaccine mandates.

Those who violate the executive order could be subjected to a $1,000 fine. Private businesses have the right to require customers and employees to wear masks. 

Health officials still urge the public to wear masks in indoor public places, even if the individual wearing the mask is vaccinated to prevent breakthrough cases.

Abbott, despite being fully vaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. He is currently isolated in the governor’s mansion and is receiving monoclonal antibody treatment. Abbott has said he is in good health and is not experiencing any symptoms.

Spokesperson Mark Miner said, as reported by The Guardian, “Governor Abbott is in constant communication with his staff, agency heads of government officials to ensure that the state government continues to operate smoothly and efficiently.”