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Mask Showdown: Youngkin Issues Response to Defiant School Districts

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is exploring his options to respond to multiple school districts that have said their mask policies will remain in effect. Their statements came after the Republican governor’s executive order giving parents—not state authorities—the right to choose whether they send their child to school in a face covering.


Fairfax and Arlington counties and Richmond and Alexandria cities said they are maintaining their mask requirements in schools and on buses.

"The fact that that tweet came out from Arlington County within minutes of my Executive Order, what that tells me, is they haven't listened to parents yet," Youngkin said Sunday.

The order, which goes into effect Jan. 24, states: "A child whose parent has elected that he or she is not subject to a mask mandate should not be required to wear a mask under any policy implemented by a teacher, school, school district, the Department of Education, or any other state authority."


Youngkin said he hopes the school districts will spend the next week listening to parents. 

"And get prepared," he added, "because we granted parents the option to decide whether they want their child to wear a mask or not, and we're going to protect that right."

Youngkin said "every resource within the governor's authority" will be considered to ensure "parents' rights are protected."

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