Seven Virginia school districts are suing new Governor Glenn Youngkin over his executive order allowing masks to be optional for children in local schools. These schools currently have mask requirements in place
School boards in Fairfax County, Prince William County, Alexandria, Arlington, Richmond, Falls Church, and Hampton have filed complaints challenging the constitutionality of the governor’s executive order (CBS News).
The complaint says that the order can’t supersede the March 2021 commonwealth law that says local school boards should follow the Centers for disease Control and Prevention guidelines. CDC guidelines currently recommend masks for students, staff, teachers, and visitors regardless of vaccination status.
In a statement, Fairfax County Public Schools said, “Without today’s action, school boards are placed in a legally untenable position – faced with an executive order that is in conflict with the constitution and state law.”
The current law expires August 1st, and requires each school board to adhere “to the maximum extent practicable, to any currently applicable mitigation strategies for early childhood care and education programs and elementary and secondary schools to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 that have been provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Macaulay Porter, spokesperson for the governor, said in a statement responding to the lawsuit, “We are disappointed that these school boards are acting counter to parents’ rights. The governor and attorney general are in coordination and are committed to aggressively defending parents’ fundamental right to make decisions with regard to their child’s upbringing, education and care, as the legal process plays out.”
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WUSA9.COM