Samuel Case, FISM News
In the latest update to Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s (R) ongoing battle over school mask mandates, an Arlington judge granted a temporary restraining order allowing schools to continue to enforce mandates.
The stay comes after seven school boards sued Youngkin’s executive order, which stated that the decision of whether or not children should wear masks should be left up to parents. The school boards in the case include Alexandria City, Arlington County, City of Richmond, Fairfax County, Falls Church City, Hampton City and Prince William County. The mandates will affect over 350,000 students.
“Having addressed all aspects of whether a temporary restraining order should issue, the Court concludes that the School Boards’ Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order with regard to optional masking of children should be granted,” Judge Louise DiMatteo ruled Friday.
“To the extent that the public would be affected by a change in policy, the Court concludes that consistency, during the pendency of a court case, benefits the public interest.”
Youngkin’s press secretary, Macaulay Porter, said the governor will appeal the ruling:
The governor will never stop fighting for parents’ ability to choose what is best for their children. The gov often said that this is not a pro-mask or anti-mask debate. It’s about parents knowing what’s best for their child’s health, & opting-out should there be a mask mandate.
— Macaulay Porter (@macaulayporter) February 4, 2022
Meanwhile, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) is set to end public school mask mandates on March 7. Last week Murphy said the state will need to “learn how to live” with COVID-19, saying, “We’re not going to manage this to zero.”
Murphy joins fellow Democratic governors in the northeast corridor ending mandates. Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania allowed for schools to modify or drop their mask policies on Jan. 17. Likewise, Delaware Governor John Carney announced that all indoor mask mandates will be lifted Friday, except for schools, where mandates will expire March 31.