The conflict over mask mandates in schools just got even more ugly in Fairfax County, Virginia. The superintendent recently issued instructions to principals to suspend students who refuse to wear a mask while in school.
This is a direct violation of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s order outlawing mask or vaccine mandates in the state’s schools. The measure allows parents to choose whether to have their children wear masks on campus.
National Review reported:
Superintendent Scott Brabrand issued a “Principal Briefing” on Friday telling administrators to “continue to follow existing regulations and practices” on masking, nearly one week after Youngkin issued an executive order immediately after being sworn in that “delivers on [Youngkin’s] Day One promise to empower Virginia parents in their children’s education and upbringing by allowing parents to make decisions on whether their child wears a mask in school.”
Parents Defending Education obtained the briefing, which also reads:
Any student who refuses to wear a face covering while indoors on school property or during FCPS-provided transportation, and who is not otherwise exempt will be precluded access to face-to-face instructional programming until they comply with the requirements of this regulation.
The briefing also explained that “intentional removal of or refusal to wear a face covering during the times face coverings are required by all students,” will constitute a violation of the dress code.
Punishment for these violations involves a one-day suspension under a new suspension rule that would “enable staff to monitor data regarding this unique situation and gives students the ability to return the next day to comply with the regulation.”
On Friday, the superintendent sent a letter to parents explaining they will require “everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask inside our buildings and on our school buses, except when alone in a room.”
“Other school districts in the state have announced plans to keep their mask requirements in place as well, including Loudoun, Stafford, and Prince William Counties, as well as Arlington schools,” according to WTOP news, which also reported that Falls Church City will comply with Youngkin’s order and institute an opt-out policy in February.
Shortly after Gov. Youngkin issued the order against mask mandates, a group of 13 Chesapeake Public Schools parents filed a lawsuit against him and the administration. Their suit argues that his order violates state law requiring schools to “offer and prioritize in-person instruction” and maintain “mitigation procedures, like mask-wearing, to the extent practicable as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.”
Virginia attorney general Jason Miyares filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on Thursday.
It is no surprise the superintendent is attempting to defy Youngkin’s order. The battle over mandates, Critical Race Theory (CRT), and other issues has grown increasingly more vicious, with both sides refusing to give ground. The mask authoritarians are growing more aggressive in their bid to force children to wear masks, despite scientific data showing they are unnecessary in classrooms.
Indeed, the fracas over masks in the classroom shows that folks on the left, for whom the mask has become almost a religious symbol, are mostly kidding when they say we should “follow the science.” In this case, their obsession with making kids mask up goes directly against data coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is fair to assume that the furor over the mask issue is more about making people feel safe, even if it offers no actual benefit. Unfortunately, it is the children who suffer.