Nate Jackson / January 19, 2022

Schools Resist Youngkin’s Fight for Parental Rights

The governor banned mask mandates, but seven districts are refusing to back down.

Some of the nation’s Republican governors have really taken the lead on beating back the advances of tyrannical leftism. Florida’s Ron DeSantis, Texas’s Greg Abbott, and others are now joined by Virginia’s Glenn Youngkin. Tyrants never go quietly, however, and such has been the case in Old Dominion.

One of the biggest reasons for Youngkin’s victory in November was parental control over their children’s education. Democrat candidate Terry McAuliffe literally told parents to butt out: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Youngkin countered, “I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education.”

Upon taking office, Youngkin set about to put words to action in a flurry of early orders. One of those wasn’t about what’s being taught in schools but rather “an executive order affirming the rights of parents to make decisions on masks in schools.” Youngkin, like other governors, didn’t ban masks in schools; he banned mandating masks in schools, overturning former Governor Ralph Northam’s order for in-school masking.

If anyone knows anything about face coverings in poor taste, its former Governor Blackface, but we digress.

These GOP governors are actually following the science, which is supposedly what leftists demand. The CDC only just announced — nearly two years after us rubes in flyover country already knew — that cloth masks are worthless.

Yes, the CDC still recommends masks for kids two years old and above, but political analyst Rich Lowry correctly notes that the U.S. is an “outlier” in this. “Many European countries have avoided sweeping American-style mask mandates on school kids, and for good reason,” he writes. “A large-scale CDC study found no benefits from the masking of kids. Many students wear cloth masks that don’t provide much protection (even if worn and maintained properly) and no sane person should want to subject a child to an N95 all day long.”

The word “science” is being exploited by those who want power and control, even — or perhaps especially — when they’re the ones ignoring the science. That much is abundantly clear from the response to Youngkin’s order.

Seven Virginia school districts have announced they will defy Youngkin’s order and continue mandating masks for kids regardless of vaccination status. Alexandria, Arlington, Fredericksburg, Henrico, Manassas, Prince Williams, and Richmond Public Schools cite state law SB1303 as their justification, which calls on districts to adhere to CDC guidelines “to the maximum extent practicable.” The law, however, does not specify masks.

And in any case, the real message is this: Parents can stuff it.

It really didn’t have to be this way. The CDC and other health and science bureaus in the U.S. and around the world could have just been honest. Politicians could have pointed to unadulterated facts and science, both of which certainly do grow as we gain understanding. Instead, the same powerful people who insist a baby in the womb isn’t alive or that boys can be girls have manipulated the truth about this pandemic and silenced opponents, all while ordering draconian one-size-fits-all mandates even on the smallest of children. Youngkin’s November victory was a sign that people are increasingly fed up with this approach, and we hope he’s able to continue the fight as governor.

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