Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Friday announced updated guidelines for parents, educators, and schools per Executive Order 2, which creates a parental opt-out from mask mandates at both public and private schools in the Commonwealth. The guidelines were developed by the Virginia Department of Health and the Department of Education.
“I have said all along that we are going to stand up for parents. Executive Order 2 is not about pro-masks versus anti-mask, it’s about empowering parents. I am confident that the Virginia Supreme Court will rule in the favor of parents, reaffirming the parental rights clearly laid out in the Virginia code § 1-240.1. In the meantime, I urge all parents to listen to their principal, and trust the legal process. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org,” said Youngkin.
The updated guidance is redesigned around Youngkin’s key principles of parental rights, keeping kids in the classroom five days a week, and keeping kids safe and healthy. The update guidelines:
· Emphasizes alternative mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 including vaccination, distancing, and outbreak awareness.
· Provides a clear decision tree for parents to review when trying to determine how to keep and return children to the classroom.
· Strongly encourages test-to-stay and other strategies to keep and return kids to the classroom as quickly as possible
· Gives schools practicable flexibility on contact tracing, distancing, and other strategies.