On August 10, a day before students across Collin County went back to school, an Allen ISD protest occurred. Allen parents protested for the district to mandate masks and provide virtual learning options like those offered in Plano, Frisco and Richardson.

Because no administrators emerged to speak with the group, they left a signed note behind.

“Our neighboring districts – Plano, Richardson, Frisco, Dallas, Garland are doing a lot more for their families than Allen ISD,” it said. “We feel parents are being forced to make a choice between education and health. We were not heard today and that shows there is not importance given to community concerns.”

Despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s July executive order, school districts across Texas, including Dallas ISD, have chosen to mandate masks for the upcoming school year to stop the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant. Last week, Plano ISD wrote a letter to the governor requesting the authority to mandate masks.

Only 2 pediatric ICU beds available across North Texas as Covid-19 Delta variant infections and RSV continue to spread.

Read more about the Delta variant’s effect on Collin County.

Vaibhavi Hemasundar is an undergraduate at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She loves singing, film photography, and devouring book after book.