As a result of Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin‘s executive order against mask-wearing in public schools, the Richmond School Board has agreed to seek legal action against this directive.
The Republican governor issued multiple orders on his first day in the office enabling parents to determine whether or not their children should go to school wearing masks.
Many principals and parents have promised to resist the mask-optional legislation, which is set to go into force on Monday.
Youngkin’s order has been adopted by a number of school boards; however, some have opted to ignore it and maintain mask regulations.
Chesapeake Public Schools parents have filed a lawsuit against it, arguing that it violates Virginia state law. To the utmost degree practical, the 2021 legislation mandates that Virginia schools conduct in-person training that follows to the COVID-19 mitigation recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anyone over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status, is presently advised by the CDC to wear an indoor mask in K-12 schools.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that in an emergency meeting held on Sunday, the Richmond School Board decided 5-3 to sue over the directive. Richmond has yet to decide if it would bring a lawsuit of its own or join the one brought by the parents of Chesapeake children.
Last Monday, the Richmond School Board voted 8-1 to maintain the district’s current mask requirement.. “Our 100 percent mask mandate for students, staff, and guests will be maintained,” Richmond Superintendent Jason Kamras has stated.
Youngkin said he was convinced the state Supreme Court will find “in favor of parents” in a statement released on Friday.
“It’s not about pro-masks against anti-mask, it’s about empowering parents,” he said, referring to the directive.
In a tweet on Saturday, the governor added: “While the legal process continues on the parental opt-out of mask mandates for their children in schools, I urge everyone to love your neighbor, to listen to school principals, and to trust the legal process.”
Teachers in Richmond, Virginia, who are fed up with the school district’s COVID-19 policies in the wake of an Omicron-related outbreak of diseases, plan to “sickout” on Monday.
They want to know when schools will close, have easier access to KN95 masks, and have virtual instruction or half-days on Wednesdays.
“The Omicron surge has resulted in severe staffing shortages, which make daily operations difficult and place tremendous strain on remaining staff who struggle to meet the needs of students, many of whom are absent themselves due to illness, quarantines, or fear of coming to school,” According to the Times-Dispatch, a number of instructors issued a statement.
Richmond Public Schools and Youngkin’s spokeswoman have been contacted by Newsweek for further information.