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Executive Order Removing Mask Mandates in VA Schools

Governor Youngkin promised during his campaign that he would allow parents to make important decisions about their children’s health and well-being, including whether or not to mask or vaccinate their children. On January 15, the governor took office and issued an Executive Order “reaffirming the rights of parents in the upbringing, education, and care of their children.” The Executive Order summarized below will go into effect on Monday, January 24, 2022.

“Universal masking requirement in schools has provided inconsistent health benefits, has inflicted notable harm and proven to be impracticable. Masks inhibit the ability of children to communicate, delay language development, and impede the growth of emotional and social skills.”

“While the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends masks, its research has found no statistically significant link between mandatory masking for students and reduced transmission of COVID-19. And the CDC has acknowledged that certain masks may be ineffective due to the material from which they are made or how they are worn. A review of CDC, WHO, and other local and international health authorities’ recommendations reveals a lack of consensus on the costs and benefits of mask-wearing for children in school.”

“In light of the variety of circumstances confronted by students in the Commonwealth, parents should have the ability to decide whether their child should wear masks for the duration of the school day. This approach is consistent with the broad rights of parents. The Commonwealth recognizes in § 1-240.1 of the Code of Virginia, that “a parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child.”

The state has no business telling parents what to do when it comes to the health and well being of their children. If parents decide their children should continue to wear masks at school all day, they may do so. And if parents decide their children should not wear masks at school all day, they may do so. Freedom for all.

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