- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Students at public schools in Loudoun County, Virginia, can attend school without wearing face masks, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The decision comes after the district announced face masks would be optional as of Feb. 22 — but the judge’s move allows students to go without the face coverings effective immediately, according to local reports.

Three parents had challenged the school’s mask policy, saying it harmed their children and that the school board did not have the power to issue such a mandate.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin also signed legislation Wednesday banning school districts across the state from making masks mandatory as of March 1.

The governor said it was a “great day for Virginia’s parents and kids.”

“Not only did we pass a bipartisan bill empowering parents to opt-out of school mask mandates, but also the Loudoun Circuit Court reaffirmed parents’ rights to have a say in their child’s health, education, care, and wellbeing. We’re excited that Loudoun has reached this decision. Importantly, the court ordered that any disciplinary action against students who were punished for following their parents’ decision to remove their mask will be expunged from their records,” Mr. Youngkin said. 

Masks are still required on school buses, according to TV station WJLA, which notes that this directive comes under a federal mask mandate.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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