Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order allowing parents to choose whether students wear masks in school went into effect Monday. Loudoun County school rules say students must still wear masks, but that didn’t stop dozens of students at a high school in Purcellville from walking to class bare-faced.
The students walked in to cheers and support from about a dozen parents outside Woodgrove High School.
They chanted “No Mask Monday” as many maskless students waved at the on-looking parents.
“We wanted our kids to have that choice,” one mother told WTOP. “And we fully support those that feel safest in a mask, also those that feel that the mask is impeding their learning or their health. So we’re just out here in support of their decision and their choice.”
Most of the parents echoed that they were simply following the executive order from the governor.
“We followed (former Gov.) Northam and his executive orders,” said another parent whose son didn’t wear a mask into the school building. “Nobody retaliated; nobody rose up. We followed it because we are law-abiding citizens and we’re doing the same thing now. We’re following the new governor’s orders. You cannot pick and choose because of the letter behind the governor’s name. And I feel like that’s what (Loudoun County Superintendent Scott) Ziegler and the school board are doing.”
Also Monday morning, someone outside Woodgrove shouted that “tyranny” had ended in Loudoun County.
While many walked in without masks, more complied with the school system’s rule.
In a message to students and their families, Woodgrove High School Principal William Shipp said any student who did not wear a mask would be taken out of class and put in the school’s auditorium for virtual learning.
“You will not be able to go out into the rest of the building if you do not have a mask on,” Shipp said.
On Friday, Youngkin issued a statement requesting that parents listen to their principals while the executive order goes through legal battles. However, he did not rescind the order and it has not been blocked by any court.
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