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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Youngkin Signs Bipartisan Bill Enshrining Mask Opt-Out as Court Crushes Mandates

'Not only did we pass a bipartisan bill empowering parents to opt-out of school mask mandates, but also the Loudoun Circuit Court reaffirmed parents' rights to have a say in their child’s health, education, care, and wellbeing... '

(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin scored two major victories on Feb. 16: he signed a bipartisan bill that enshrines parents’ right to excuse their children from mask mandates, and a Loudoun County court ordered that parents have the right to opt out their children.

The new law should resolve the Loudoun County and Arlington court cases and eliminate the need for Youngkin’s executive order, which prohibited mask mandates, the Washington Examiner reported.

The law states that “the parent of any child enrolled in a public elementary or secondary school, or in any school-based early childhood care and education program, may elect for such child to not wear a mask while on school property.”

It specifies that parents “shall not be required to provide a reason or any certification of the child’s health or education status” and that schools cannot punish children who do not wear masks.

“Today is a great day for Virginia’s parents and kids,” Youngkin said in a press release.

“Not only did we pass a bipartisan bill empowering parents to opt-out of school mask mandates, but also the Loudoun Circuit Court reaffirmed parents’ rights to have a say in their child’s health, education, care, and wellbeing.”

Circuit Court Judge James E. Fisher also ordered that students who had been disciplined for coming to school maskless must have the violation “expunged from their records,” Loudoun Now reported.

The bipartisan bill won super-majority support in the House, passing 77-23 with 25 Democrats in support and 23 opposed, according to LegiScan.

School districts in Loudoun County and Fairfax County had won victories against Youngkin’s executive order that would have allowed them to keep mask mandates in place, according to the Washington Examiner.

Once the bipartisan bill becomes law on March 1, the pro-mask school districts should not have any more legal tools to keep kids masked.

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