Virginia’s governor, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction have asked a court to let them become plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought by parents against the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), lending new legal firepower to a group of parents’ quest to unmask their children.
After taking office last month, Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order saying that parents had the right to choose whether their children must wear masks at school or not. Liberal jurisdictions refused to follow it, claiming they did not have to follow executive orders.
The lawsuit includes an appendix with seven executive orders from previous Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, including one that made masks mandatory in schools. No school district defied those orders, and far from claiming at the time that executive orders were optional for school systems, school officials routinely invoked them as a reason that their hands were tied.
Attorney General Jason Miyares said in a statement that “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. 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.”
The suit from parents cites The Daily Wire’s reporting four times to show how schools are taking punitive action against students who invoke their right to unmask under the EO, and the Virginia officials’ motion to join the suit, known as a request to “intervene,” also cites it.
Youngkin’s EO went into effect last Monday, but students who invoked it that day were sent to a separate room where they did not receive in-person instruction, and one father said students were not allowed to talk at all.
Eventually, LCPS began suspending students for up to 10 days for attempting to show up without a mask. On Tuesday, a student at Stone Bridge High School received such a suspension, the Daily Caller reported.
Stone Bridge was the same high school where a skirt-wearing student committed a rape in its girls bathroom, for which he was subsequently convicted.
Creighton’s Corner Elementary School Assistant Principal Janet Davidson said unmasked elementary school students are “not allowed on campus or on Loudoun County Public School property starting tomorrow… It will be considered trespassing,” the Daily Caller reported. That apparent threat of criminal charges came even as county prosecutor Buta Biberaj is under fire for allegedly endangering the community for not prosecuting more serious crimes, and for allegedly causing the school rapist not to wind up on the sex offender registry by not filing a required motion on time.
Ian Prior, executive director of the parents’ group Fight For Schools, said in a statement that “Governor Youngkin and Attorney General Miyares campaigned on standing up for parents against massive government overreach by school boards and superintendents putting politics over the rights of students and parents. Today’s filing is more evidence that they are delivering on their promises. We hope that Superintendent [Scott] Ziegler and the Loudoun County School Board pay attention, recognize that parents have spoken, and stop wasting taxpayer money compiling avoidable litigation fees to appease the syndicate that has taken over this county.”
In politically moderate Prince William County, the situation is similar to Loudoun, and a Wednesday night school board meeting erupted into chaos over the topic, with one mother in attendance telling The Daily Wire that people were banging on the windows demanding to be let in, while officials said the room was at capacity.
A school nurse wrote a letter to the board, saying, “I feel some days I am participating in child abuse” for sending kids to an “isolation room” for not wearing a mask despite “24 months of data” on the actual risk to young children from coronavirus.
In Fairfax County last week, after a mother attempted to bring her two children to school without a mask for the first time in about two years, she was stopped before she could get to the front door by multiple officials–including a security guard who removed his mask to lecture a parent because he admitted he “can’t speak with this thing,” and later could not see because his mask caused his glasses to fog up.