Parents of children in the Dallas Independent School District appealed directly to Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday, alleging the district is segregating and targeting their fifth- and eighth-grade children who oppose the district’s mask mandate.

Lauren Davis was one of the parents who agreed Dallas ISD had become a hostile learning environment because of their mask mandate. On Sunday, Davis and her husband asked Abbott for help. Below is a video of the interaction.


“Dallas ISD, the Dealey Elementary School, has systematically segregated my kids, withheld their education, [and] coned my daughter off while other kids played,” Davis told Abbott. She also alleged DISD will not allow her in the school and “locked” her children “in a box.”

“They literally withheld education. They stuck them in the library for two weeks with no access to any classes. … My daughter’s failing every class.”

Davis alleged her children have been cited by the district and threatened with being sent to “alternative school.” Her allegations also include that her kids have been bullied and her daughter has received death threats. “We are going into week nine of this torture.”

Texas Scorecard sent inquiries to every Dallas ISD board trustee but received no replies before publication.

“It’s outrageous,” Abbott said of the allegations. “Clearly wrong.”

He mentioned he “thought” Attorney General Ken Paxton had sued DISD. Davis said Paxton had filed a legal challenge to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins’ (D) contested mask mandate. “[DISD Superintendent] Hijonosa himself is saying that because Dallas ISD is not named, it’s in litigation; therefore, we can do whatever we want.” Hinojosa didn’t respond to our inquiry on this before publication.

“My understanding was that Paxton had obtained a court of appeals order,” Abbott said.

“In San Antonio and Austin, not in Dallas,” Davis’ husband replied. “It has not gone up from the appellate court up to the [Texas] Supreme Court yet.” He told Abbott they had recently been in contact with the Paxton’s office and were told it would be “many more weeks before the [Texas] Supreme Court can rule.”

An inquiry sent to Paxton’s office was not replied to before publication.

Abbott replied, “Let me go talk to our legislators about it [and] see what we can come up with. Let us go shoulder to shoulder with you and fight for you.”

Lauren Davis thanked him. “I appreciate everything you’ve done, and I realize there’s a process, but we are suffering.” However, she said they’re unbowed. “We’re not going to break.”

Davis, who has not been politically active before, told Texas Scorecard she was satisfied with Abbott’s answer. “The fact that he said he would fight with me shoulder to shoulder made my night!” she said. “I just need follow through.”

While legislation to prohibit mask mandates from school districts was placed on previous special session agendas earlier this summer, Abbott declined to add it to the current agenda, meaning lawmakers are currently barred from acting. Only days remain in the third special session.

We asked Davis how she would respond if Abbott didn’t solve the Dallas ISD issue. “I will take my vote to another candidate and keep fighting for all of our freedoms,” she said. “I am not just fighting for my family, I’m fighting for all the mothers who don’t realize they need to take a stand!”

An inquiry to Abbott’s office was not replied to before publication.

Abbott is being challenged in the Republican primary by Allen West, Chad Prather, and Don Huffines.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.