USA: Virginia school districts are on trial for the governor’s mask order Coronavirus pandemic news

School mask mandates have become the latest political battleground in the United States’ fight against COVID-19. after seven school councils in Virginia sued the governor for an executive order allowing parents to waive disguise requirements.

Virginia Gov. Virginia, a Republican governor, has issued an order banning mask mandates after taking the oath of office on Jan. 15. But the measure, which went into effect on Monday, has caused confusion since it was announced.

Some districts have interpreted the order as contrary to state law, which deals with mitigating the effects of COVID-19 in schools, and have chosen to keep existing student mask mandates.

After the order was challenged last week by a group of parents and another on Monday morning by seven school boards, Youngkin called for patience and asked parents to listen to their children’s school principals for now.

“Listen to the director today. And I know there are some school systems that do things that are incompatible with respect for parental rights. … Let’s respect it right now and let this legal process develop, “the governor said in an interview with WRVA radio in Richmond, Virginia.

A lawsuit was filed Monday in Arlington County District Court by seven school boards seeking to block the enforcement order. Last week, parents in the town of Chesapeake also filed a petition with the Virginia Supreme Court challenging Youngkin’s order.

But some observers turned to social media over the weekend to urge parents to follow the governor’s order, regardless of the position of their school district.

On Monday, when students reported in the classroom, there were no immediate reports of serious problems requiring law enforcement intervention.

The legal battle is coming as the debate on mask and vaccine mandates, as well as the broader issue of individual rights during the pandemic, intensifies and generates legal battles.

Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court blocked President Joe Biden’s efforts to require employees of large companies to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly tests.

Biden is trying to find ways to get more Americans vaccinated and wearing masks to reduce COVID-19 infections, which are on the rise as the highly transmitted Omicron variant spreads.

Protest against Covid mandate in WashingtonThe lawsuit alleges that the state constitution gives local school boards the power to govern their districts. [File: Patrick Semansky/AP Photo]

Republican officials are fiercely challenging the disguise and vaccination mandates, claiming they are violating personal freedoms. On Sunday, thousands of Americans marched in Washington, D.C., to protest COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates.

Back in Virginia, the debate over school mask mandates took a volatile turn last Thursday during a meeting of public schools in Page County.

A video broadcast on local news channels showed a mother saying on board that her children would not be wearing a mask on Monday: “And I will bring every single gun loaded and ready.” Authorities said they were investigating, and the school district said it would increase police presence.

In a statement to parents, Scott Brabrand, head of public schools in Fairfax County, said he hoped Monday’s lawsuit would allow for a speedy resolution of the conflict between the governor and local councils, who believe the mask mandate is a necessary measure. public health.

“Decisions about education and school safety need to be made at the local level to protect the best interests of our students and the community,” Brabrand said.

The lawsuit alleges that the state constitution gives local school boards the power to govern their districts. He also cites state law that requires school systems to follow federal health guidelines, which include recommendations for universal camouflage.

Protest against Covid mandate in WashingtonThousands of protesters rallied against COVID-19 mandates in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC on January 23, 2022. [Patrick Semansky/AP Photo]

Proponents of the executive order say it is not in violation of state law, as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only recommends wearing masks and does not require it.

Fairfax County School Board Chair Stella Petarski said the existing mask mandate has allowed the school system to maintain personal learning throughout the school year.

“We maintain low levels of trend transmission,” she said. “We did not have to close any school because of COVID. We have kept our children in the classroom and we will do our best to ensure that we continue to do so. “

Democrats praised the school boards that challenged Youngkin on Monday.

In addition to Fairfax, the state’s most populous jurisdiction, the board of trustees in Alexandria, Richmond, Hampton, Falls Church, Arlington County and Prince William County joined the lawsuit. In total, the jurisdictions represent more than 350,000 students.

“Youngkin is fast on his way to becoming the most divided and authoritarian governor in the long history of our community,” Senator Mamie Locke told a news conference.

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