Frustrated Va. parents sue Loudoun school board for ignoring Youngkin’s new mask policy

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Frustrated parents are suing the Loudoun Co. Virginia School Board for ignoring Governor Glenn Youngkin’s new mask policy. As BPR reported in January, Youngkin wasted no time following his inauguration in signing executive orders that shut down the teaching of Critical Race Theory and banned mask mandates in schools.

“Parents should have a say in what is taught in school because, in Virginia, parents have a fundamental right to make decisions with regards to their child’s upbringing, education, and care,” Youngkin said in his inauguration speech Saturday. “To parents, I say we respect you. And we will empower you in the education of your children.”

Parents are demanding that the school system adheres to Youngkin’s order that contains a parental opt-out for masks on their children at school.

“Despite belatedly allowing students to return to Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), the Board continues to demand that they wear restrictive facemasks for up to seven or eight hours a day — imposing physical, psychological, and developmental consequences that could be severe,” the court documents state.

(Video: Fox 5 DC)

The suit, which was filed in a Loudoun Co. circuit court on Tuesday, names three plaintiffs: Kristen Barnett, Heather Yescavage, and Colin Doniger.

“Virginians are currently free to eat at restaurants, stroll shopping malls, go bowling, watch the NFL playoffs at a local tavern, and engage in innumerable other outdoor activities – all without wearing masks. Yet children in Loudoun County’s public schools remain trapped in 2020-era pandemic policies that are increasingly difficult to justify as we approach the two-year anniversary of COVID-19’s arrival in the United States.”

Although Governor Youngkin’s order rescinded the commonwealth’s mask mandate, the Loudoun County School Board school system refuses to honor it and went ahead with their own mask mandate at the urging of Superintendent Scott Ziegler.

Loudoun County school district spokesperson Wayde Byard said that no students have been sent home for refusing to wear a mask, but that some might face suspension if they don’t submit to the will of the school board. Students have reportedly been segregated from the mask-compliant and placed in auditoriums and gymnasiums for on-site remote learning, often with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to the mid-80s for unknown reasons and making concentration difficult.

FOX 5 reached out to LCPS about the matter, but they declined to comment on the litigation.

The initial tweet from Virginia GOP garnered mixed reactions on Twitter.


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