In keeping with his promised efforts to reinforce parents’ right to determine and help guide their children’s educational experience, Glenn Younkin’s executive order to make masks optional has spurred a backlash among a few of Virginia’s government-run school systems.
Youngkin’s executive order took effect on Monday, calling for Virginia’s 130 school districts to enact mask-optional policies. School districts that do not follow suit could have funding reduced or withheld.
School districts primarily located around Northern VA and DC have expressed their frustration with the expansion of personal/parental choice within schools.
Youngkin’s office seems to be ready for a legal fight when Youngkin on Friday noted, “I have said all along that we are going to stand up for parents. Executive Order 2 is not about pro-masks versus anti-mask, it’s about empowering parents. I am confident that the Virginia Supreme Court will rule in the favor of parents. In the meantime, I urge all parents to listen to their principal, and trust the legal process.”
The guidance released to school districts said, “During the Omicron outbreak, regions with restrictive masking policies and practices have shown similar rates of transmission as regions with less restrictive mask policies. There is presently a lack of consensus among health experts regarding the costs and benefits of mask-wearing for children in school.”