Universal Mask Mandate To Remain In Effect In Northern VA Schools

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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An Arlington judge ruled Friday that the universal mask mandate will remain in place in northern Virginia schools following a request from the school boards for a temporary restraining order.

School boards from Alexandria City, Arlington County, City of Richmond, Fairfax County, Falls Church City, Hampton City and Prince William County challenged Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order giving parents the option to opt their child out of the mask mandate.

In the ruling, Judge Louise M. DiMatteo said the “single issue before the court is whether the Governor, via his emergency powers, can override the decision of local school boards delegated to them under SB 1303. The court concludes the Governor cannot.”

Attorney John Cafferky argued Wednesday that Youngkin’s order violated state law SB 1303, which says schools should follow guidance from the CDC “to the maximum extent practicable,” according to ABC 7.

Cafferky also argued school boards have authority over public schools, not the governor’s executive orders, according to the report. (RELATED: Maskless Students Suspended For Minimum Of 10 Days, Could Face Trespassing Charges)

Meanwhile, Deputy Attorney General Steven Popps argued Youngkin could issue executive orders just as his predecessor, Democrat Ralph Northam, did, according to NBC 4.

“It should not matter whose name is on the executive order,” Popps reportedly said.