Virginia school boards sue to block Youngkin order making masks optional

Posted 112 days ago


Seven Virginia school boards are suing state Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) in an effort to block his executive order that makes mask-wearing optional in the classroom.

The plaintiffs, led by Fairfax County Public Schools, are requesting an immediate injunction of Youngkin’s executive order, which gives Virginia parents the authority to choose whether their children should wear a face covering in classrooms.

The school boards are arguing that Youngkin’s order violates a section of the state constitution, which says “The supervision of schools in each school division shall be vested in a school board.”

They are also contending that the new governor’s order is in breach of a law former Gov. Ralph Northam (D), Youngkin’s predecessor, signed in March, which says schools in the state should abide by federal health recommendation to the “maximum extent practicable.”

For kindergarten through 12th grade, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends universal indoor masking for all students ages 2 years and older, staff, teachers and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

The new policy is set to take effect on Monday, according to The Washington Post.

The school boards for Alexandria, Arlington County, Richmond, Fairfax County, Falls Church, Hampton and Prince William County also signed on to the lawsuit. They represent more than 350,000 students in Virginia.

The legal action, filed in the circuit court for the county of Arlington, names Youngkin as the sole defendant.

Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter told The Hill in a statement that the governor’s office is “disappointed that these school boards are acting counter to parent's rights.”

“The governor and attorney general are in coordination and are committed to aggressively defending parents' fundamental right to make decisions with regard ... (Read more)