13 parents sue Gov. Youngkin over executive order on masks in schools; Miyares files to dismiss

Gov. Youngkin addressed the joint assembly for the first time since assuming office.
Gov. Youngkin addressed the joint assembly for the first time since assuming office.(NBC12)
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 6:03 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 21, 2022 at 6:03 AM EST
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CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WWBT) - Thirteen parents in Chesapeake are suing Governor Glenn Youngkin over his executive order that effectively ends the mask mandate in schools K-12.

The parents argue that a 2021 state law that requires schools to offer in-person learning also requires schools to follow CDC guidance, which currently recommends that students mask up.

The suit argues the governor does not have the power to suspend that law, and they want the state supreme court to declare the executive order void.

“We will continue to protect parents’ fundamental right to make decisions with regard to their child’s upbringing, education and care,” Youngkin’s spokesperson Macaulay Porter said.

Earlier today, Virginia House Democrats held a press conference about the executive order.

“We applaud Virginia’s parents for standing up to Gov. Youngkin’s illegal executive order that puts our children’s health and safety at risk as COVID-19 surges, and threatens in-person learning across the Commonwealth. As the governor prioritizes defunding schools over following the science, Virginians should be reminded that Democrats opened all 132 school divisions for safe in-person instruction. Gov. Youngkin is putting politics over the well-being of Virginia’s families—it’s dangerous and unacceptable,” Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Susan Swecker said.

On Thursday, Attorney General Jason Miyares filed to dismiss the lawsuit.

“Tonight, we asked the Supreme Court of Virginia to protect the fundamental rights of parents to direct the upbringing, care, and education of their children. Governor Youngkin had every power to issue the executive order and with our filing, we again affirm that parents matter,” said Miyares in a release.

The lawsuit can be read here.

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