VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin has been in power for only a number of days, but is already receiving push back from northern Virginia schools and parents for his mask mandate order.
The governor issued an executive order that allows parents to choose whether their child should wear a mask in schools.
“You have a fundamental right, enshrined in law by this general assembly, to make decisions to your child’s upbringing, education and care,” said Youngkin.
Now, Youngkin is receiving pushback from several schools in northern Virginia. Fairfax County Public Schools, Alexandria City Public Schools and Arlington Public Schools say they will continue to implement masking despite Youngkin’s order.
Loudoun County Public Schools is the latest district to announce students must continue wearing masks for the remainder of the week, and will provide new information to parents and staff.
“LCPS will review the updated guidance from the Governor’s Office, the Virginia Department of Education, and the Virginia Department of Health and will provide new information to LCPS families and staff on Wednesday, January 19, 2022,” read a release from the school district.
Some parents throughout the region are disappointed with the schools’ choices, saying the choice should be left up to the parents.
“If someone wants to wear one, that’s fine, the order doesn’t ban that. If someone doesn’t want to wear one, they don’t have to,” said Nathan Brinkman, Arlington Public Schools parent.
When asked if he was concerned about the spread of COVID-19 amid the Omicron surge, Brinkman says he believes other measures should be taken to prevent the spread besides relying on face masks.
“The governor’s executive order suggested other measures, such as ventilation and air purification,” said Brinkman.
However, some parents are praising the schools’ decision for continued masking, including White House Press Secretary and Arlington parent, Jen Psaki.
“Thank you to @APSVirginia for standing up for our kids…and their safety in the midst of a transmissible variant,” Psaki said on Twitter.
The executive order is set to take effect on Jan. 24.