Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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Virginia Allows Parental Option on Student Mask Wearing in Schools

Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed legislation into law that gives parents the sole right to dictate if their children should wear face masks while attending school.

The provision amends the Code of Virginia for in-person instruction. Youngkin issued a similar executive order on his first day in office last month, which was met by a lawsuit filed by seven county school districts. The lawsuit was also scheduled to be heard in court on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Youngkin signed SB 739 at an event on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond on Tuesday. Starting on March 1, county school districts will not be allowed to require their students to wear masks.

“Since Day 1 we have been advocating, we have been standing up together for parents’ rights to make decisions for their children,” he said.

Loudoun County Public Schools is one of the districts suing Youngkin. Superintendent Scott Ziegler posted on the district website Wednesday that masks would be optional starting next Tuesday. However, he said he encourages continued mask use “while community transmission levels are high.”

But the update noted that masks are still required on school buses by federal order of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Related: Maryland Governor Recommends Ending School Mask Mandate
Related: Massachusetts Set to Lift School Masking Requirements
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