Virginia Democrats are hailing 16 school divisions defying new GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin's first day executive order permitting parents and their children to decide whether to wear a face mask in school.
The order goes in effect Monday, Jan. 24, but 16 school divisions have vowed to keep mask mandates, defying Youngkin's executive order banning them — setting up another political fight in Virginia over schools versus parents, leading the governor to vow to use "every resource within the governor's authority" to protect parents' rights.
"We wrote the order to give school systems basically eight days to get ready, to listen to parents," Youngkin said Sunday, responding to Arlington Public Schools immediate attack on his executive order — after an election campaign that saw Virginians elect him on the platform of standing for parents.
"And the fact that tweet came out from Arlington County within minutes of my executive order, what that tells is me they haven't listened to parents yet," he added. "If there's one thing that everybody heard in November is it is time to listen to parents.
"So over the course of this week, I hope they will listen to parents, because we will use every resource within the governor's authority to explore what we can do and will do in order to make sure that parents will have their rights protected."
Virginia Democrats account tweeted Monday, hailing the 16 school divisions defiance of the new governor.
"From Arlington to Albemarle, school divisions across Virginia are rejecting Glenn Youngkin's dangerous anti-science executive action and keeping mask requirements in schools to ensure the health and safety of K-12 students in the Commonwealth," the Virginia Democrats' tweet read Monday.
The Daily Caller reported that it asked the Arlington Public Schools about which study or data it was using to dictate its continued mask mandate and the only response it received was the spokesman saying responding to the media "won't get [the district] anywhere."
"It's a sad situation when local school boards in Virginia understand the law and the science more than the governor of Virginia does," Democratic Party of Virginia (DPV) Chair Susan Swecker wrote in a statement Monday, responding to Youngkin's vow to use the governor's resources to protect parental and student rights.
"Masks are essential to keeping students safe and schools open, but Glenn would rather use our children as political cover to appease the extreme, far-right fringes of his own party."
DPV hailed the 16 school divisions that vow to keep mask requirements:
- Prince William
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