There's a masking showdown taking place in several Virginia counties after newly installed Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order that gave the power back to parents to decide whether they want to send their kids to school in a mask. Face coverings aren't banned, but state authorities can no longer mandate their use in educational facilities starting Jan. 24.
Minutes after Youngkin's executive order came out, Arlington County said it will keep its mask requirement in place "as part of our layered approach to safety."
Among those thanking the school district for its defiance was White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
"Hi there. Arlington county parent here (don't believe you are @GlennYoungkin but correct me if I am wrong). Thank you to @APSVirginia for standing up for our kids, teachers and administrators and their safety in the midst of a transmissible variant," she tweeted.
Hi there. Arlington county parent here (don’t believe you are @GlennYoungkin but correct me if I am wrong). Thank you to @APSVirginia for standing up for our kids, teachers and administrators and their safety in the midst of a transmissible variant. https://t.co/6UeNIYoZCU— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) January 17, 2022
Social media users immediately jumped in to remind the press secretary that no one is stopping her from sending her kids to school with masks.
Jen, if for some reason you want to mask your children, you are still free to do so. This isn't a ban on masks, this is a ban on *forced masking* of children against other parents' wishes.— Mollie (@MZHemingway) January 17, 2022
Everyone who wants to wear masks is free to— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) January 17, 2022
Others reminded her about how effective school mask mandates are.
Even the leftwing Atlantic debunked the asserted “benefits” of school mask mandates while documenting the very real, severe harms. Face-to-face interaction is core to a child’s development—depriving them of it is wanton and cruel.https://t.co/35KbmciiAUhttps://t.co/AY8vpP94Hj https://t.co/vaMCbpr7OW— Stephen Miller (@StephenM) January 17, 2022
And, of course, that elections have consequences.
It's so odd how "the will of the voters" and the majority just suddenly went right out the window with these people. https://t.co/9wKIbMSXII— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) January 17, 2022
Hi there. Fairfax county parent here. After two disastrous years, your school policies were on the ballot in November. You lost, big time. Time to let parents make decisions. https://t.co/U4aoQfhR69— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) January 17, 2022