Parents revolt against Fairfax, VA school board’s ‘baffling’ memo on indoor masking requirements

Parents in Fairfax, Virginia are expressing their frustration over a recent school board memo advising that their children could be subjected to forced masking again this school year depending on the whims of the CDC which will determine the community COVID risk levels.

The email communication from Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) which has been described as “baffling” and “anti-science” says that indoor masking requirements for the 2022-2023 school year are dependent on the advice of national health bureaucrats while also noting that under the Virginia code, parents and legal guardians have the right to choose whether or not to send their children to school in masks.

“FCPS requires all students to wear a face covering when indoors (except while actively eating/drinking) on school property (to include the buildings, school buses and other school provided vehicles) when the CDC COVID-19 Community Level for Fairfax County is high,” the email states. “The current level for Fairfax County is medium. The Code of Virginia allows parents/legal guardians to elect for their child not to wear a face covering while on school property.”

“In alignment with the Code of Virginia, the parent/legal guardian of any child enrolled in an FCPS school, may elect for such child to not wear a face covering while on school property (to include FCPS buildings),” according to the fuller document. “No parent/legal guardian making such an election shall be required to provide a reason or any certification of the child’s health or education status and no student shall suffer any adverse disciplinary or academic consequences as a result of this election.”

In a response to the board’s memo, the Fairfax County Parent’s association wrote on Twitter, “Baffling recent email shows that, but for state legislators, FCPS would still be potentially requiring masks (despite no other mask mandates in effect anyplace else). 🤦”

Other reactions came in to the contradictory guidance which could be interpreted as an effort to prolong the immensely unpopular mandatory mask mandates which were ended by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin shortly after he took office earlier this year.

In a response to a request for comment from Fox News Digital, Fairfax County Public Schools responded, “Parents/families can opt out of any mask requirement. Nothing has changed since the last school year.”

A Virginia mom, whose three sons were suspended from Fairfax County Public School for not wearing a mask earlier this year and is prepared to take her case to state lawmakers, also criticized the school board’s memo on masking.

“It is unconscionable that Fairfax County School Board members don’t seem to understand that Virginia law applies to all of Virginia, even Fairfax County,” Stephanie Lundquist-Arora told Fox News Digital. “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. They’ve already defied Executive Order 2 and SB739 when they suspended my sons in January and February 2022 for multiple days on ‘dress code’ violations for not wearing masks.”

“What we do know is that mask-wearing can have consequences, physical and emotional,” Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier told Fox News Digital. “Schools need to move towards risk base mitigation measures and stop enforcing universal mandates. Higher-risk staff and children and really anyone who wants to should be allowed to wear a facemask, however, no one should be forced to. Another asinine policy kids are dealing with is requiring boosters for college students to return in the fall. There is no place for universal mandates, vaccines and masks, at this point of the pandemic.”

Children’s book author and mother of five Bethany Mandel told Fox News Digital “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

“The last three years have shown that our school systems are run by the truly insane. The difference for kids and their families in Virginia is that they have a governor who will stand up for them and common sense. There is no reason in the fall of 2022 to mask children, impacting a fourth school year with unnecessary and ineffective mitigation policies. It’s time for parents and lawmakers to stand up for kids the way Governor Youngkin in Virginia has done,” said Mandel who is homeschooling her kids.

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