VA Attorney General Joins Parents In Lawsuit Against Loudoun County School Board Mask Mandate
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares has now filed a motion to join a lawsuit against the Loudoun County School Board for defying Gov. Glenn Younkin’s executive order that allows parents to opt out of school mask mandates.
Mask mandates need to go. The virus is here to stay. It’s becoming endemic. Time to move on with life and let kids be kids.
Miyares filed the motion Wednesday together with Youngkin and state superintendent of public instruction Jillian Balow, seeking to join a group of Loudoun County parents who had sued the school board for its refusal to allow parents to opt their children out of school mask mandates. The school district has threatened to suspend students who attempt to attend classes unmasked.
“When the pandemic started, Governor Northam used his emergency powers to close down places of worship, private businesses, and schools, and impose a universal mask mandate,” Miyares went on to say in a press release announcing his joining the lawsuit. “Nearly two years later, Governor Youngkin is using those same emergency powers to adapt to our current phase in the same pandemic, by giving parents the ability to opt out of a school mask mandate.”
Youngkin’s executive order was signed within hours of being sworn into office and took effect a week later on Jan. 24. School districts across Virginia promptly dropped their mask mandates to comply with the order, but several school districts in the heavily populated counties of northern Virginia, including Loudoun, defied the order and have threatened suspension for students that do not comply.
The order prompted a flurry of litigation. Seven districts, all from heavily populated areas of the commonwealth, sued the governor seeking to invalidate the order. Youngkin and Miyares have vowed to defend the order, which they said helps empower parents to take control of their children’s education.
“After nearly two years in this pandemic, we have better risk mitigation strategies and vaccines, and we know much more about the efficacy of requiring children to wear masks all day,” the press release concerning Miyares’s filing went on to read. “Parents know what is best for their children and should be able to decide if their child should wear a mask for eight hours a day.”