In Loudoun County, Virginia, school children are being assessed a ten-day suspension for not wearing a mask while on school grounds and threatened with trespassing charges if they return to school. These draconian threats are a battle between a few fringe school districts and the Virginia Governor’s office.
Governor Youngkin’s second executive order, issued on January 15, 2022, effectively aimed to end the mask mandate and give parents a choice in what precautions their children should take. Youngkin campaigned on the issue and ended vaccine mandates by emphasizing the concepts of personal choice. The order is supported by science, as well as a mountain of data showing the highly negative impact of COVID measures on our children’s mental health.
Cloth masks have low efficacy against the Omicron variant, responsible for at least 90 percent of current COVID cases. Some experts have gone as far to say that they are little more than ‘facial decorations.’ Furthermore, the risk of children dying from COVID is shallow. More children die from the flu, heart disease, drowning, firearms, or motor vehicle accidents (not cumulatively, mind you, each of those vectors alone has more deaths). There seems to be a pathological need to transfer the risk from the adults in charge to the children with devastating results.
There is a deep-seated attitude among the Administrations unlawfully ignoring the Governor’s executive order that the schools, not the parents, are in charge of your children. Instead of allowing parents to assess the risks and adopt countermeasures they feel are appropriate, these districts engage in a top-down authoritarian approach.
Newly elected Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares has promised swift action in response to the suspensions. Youngkin and his Administration seem determined to make good on the promises made on the campaign trail. A surprise for a politician, but a pleasant one, nonetheless.