From NPR, Virginia school boards in Northern Virginia are openly resisting Governor Glenn Youngkin’s executive order ending mask mandates:
School officials in Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax sent messages to families over the weekend saying that their policies would remain in effect.
“Arlington Public Schools implemented our mask requirement this school year prior to Governor [Ralph] Northam’s K-12 mask order, and we will continue to make decisions that prioritize the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff, following the guidance of local, state and national health professionals,” reads the school district’s statement.
Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand told parents that the district is reviewing Youngkin’s order, but would continue universal masking in the meantime. “Adhering to our layered prevention strategies, especially universal masking, keeps our schools open and safe places for students to learn,” he wrote.
The Virginia Education Association (VEA) and Virginia Parent Teachers Association (VPTA) are both indicating fears that public school teachers might not be able to come into the classroom to teach due to the lifting of the mask mandate, ironically echoing the same concerns of parents who felt the mask mandates and threats to vaccinate students against their will during the Northam administration.
With new treatments at hand and vaccines readily available, the emphasis on masks in public spaces — including the outdoors — has yielded to the more common-sense approach of taking credible precautions individually rather than making the world safe for the few.