Seven college districts in Virginia sued Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Monday, objecting to his govt order overruling their masks insurance policies and making the carrying of masks optionally available in public colleges.
The varsity districts embrace the Fairfax County Public Colleges, the state’s largest with greater than 178,000 college students, in addition to the college methods in Prince William County, Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Hampton, and Richmond. Collectively, the districts serve greater than 350,000 college students.
The varsity districts mentioned in a press release on Monday that the go well with “defends the fitting of college boards to enact coverage on the native degree, together with insurance policies that shield the well being and well-being of all college students and employees.” The lawsuit was filed within the Circuit Court docket for the County of Arlington (not the Arlington District Court docket, as an earlier model of this merchandise mentioned).
The varsity officers questioned whether or not an govt order “can unilaterally override” the authority given to native boards by the state structure. The go well with additionally disputes whether or not the governor’s order can override legislative motion taken in 2021 that allowed college students to attend courses in individual whereas native college boards comply with suggestions of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
“With out in the present day’s motion, college boards are positioned in a legally untenable place — confronted with an govt order that’s in battle with the structure and state legislation,” the lawsuit says.
A spokeswoman for the governor, Macaulay Porter, mentioned in a press release that the governor’s workplace was “disenchanted that these college boards are ignoring mum or dad’s rights.” She mentioned Mr. Youngkin and the state lawyer common had been dedicated to combating the lawsuit.
Mr. Youngkin issued an govt order on Jan. 15, the day he took workplace, that mentioned mother and father may resolve for themselves whether or not to comply with college masks mandates. The order aimed to finish a mandate imposed by Mr. Youngkin’s predecessor, Ralph Northam.
Mr. Youngkin ordered that the mother and father of any youngster enrolled in a faculty or a school-based early youngster care and academic program “might elect for his or her youngsters to not be topic to any masks mandate in impact” on the facility.
“Dad and mom ought to have the flexibility to resolve whether or not their youngster ought to put on masks during the college day,” it reads.
The colleges’ lawsuit mentioned, partly, that the plaintiff’s colleges “have college students and employees members who’re notably weak to the consequences of Covid-19, and for whom an an infection with the virus may result in severe sickness or demise” and that masks had been among the many mitigation measures the faculties have taken for the 2021-22 college 12 months.