Youngkin signs a ban on school masks in law

Virginia Gov. Glen Yangkin on Wednesday signed a law on a long-promised ban on masked mandates in Commonwealth schools.

Calling it a “victory for all Virginians,” Gov. Glen Yangkin on Wednesday signed into law a long-promised ban on masked mandates in Commonwealth schools.

Account, SB739allows parents to “vote for [their] a child should not wear a mask when on school grounds, ”regardless of any COVID-19 protection mandates adopted by local school boards or issued by government agencies.

At the signing ceremony in Richmond, Youngkin said of the move: “We reaffirm the rights that we know all parents have,” referring to “the right of parents to make decisions for their children.”

Also, speaking at the signing ceremony, student Breona McAllister said that although “My teacher was there to help … it’s hard to breathe [a] mask. It’s hard to hear my teacher, and it was hard to connect and make friends. “

The bill was passed by the Virginia Senate as a result of a bipartisan vote of 21-19 last week and 52-48 votes in the House of Representatives on Monday.

According to the usual rules, the bill will not enter into force until July 1, but the General Assembly adopted a The Youngkin Amendment allowing the law to take effect immediately, and giving school districts until March 1 to enforce.

“Virginia is about it”

In an interview with Fox News, Yangkin noted that Democrats were key to passing the bill and that he was pleased to see that it was gaining the support of two parties.

“If you decide that your child should not wear a mask, you can make that decision, and if you want your child to wear a mask, you can also make that decision. And that’s what Virginia is about, “he said.

Senator Shiaban Danavant, a Republican and a key supporter of the ban, began her signing statement by saying to a crowd of parents, children and lawmakers: “I want to start with how wonderful it is to see your beautiful faces.”

She said: “It’s time to stop putting children last” and said: “Health care decisions are never made around the world because we are all different.”

“Parents make decisions for their children; political entities need to leave, ”the senator said. “Parents … you talk to your doctors all the time; you can read what the recommendations are and you can look at your child’s complexity and decide what’s right. ”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends universal camouflage in schools.

Problems

The constitutionality of the bill was challenged in court because it takes away the powers traditionally vested in local school boards.

On Wednesday, the House of Delegates held a brief debate on whether it is constitutional to pass laws in an emergency by a simple majority.

It usually takes 4/5 of the overwhelming majority of each body of the General Assembly to pass a law on an emergency basis for it to enter into force immediately. But if the legislature passes a bill and the governor amends it, such amendments are passed by a simple majority.

Democrat Democrat Marcus Simon has uncovered a 2010 precedent from former Republican Speaker Bill Howell, which shows that governors cannot end the rules of the overwhelming majority simply by adding an amendment to the emergency point.

But Republican Speaker Todd Gilbert dismissed Simon’s objections. Gilbert cited numerous examples over the past two years when the then governor. Ralph North, a Democrat, amended the bills to add a clause on the state of emergency, and the legislature passed them by a majority vote.

Simon said he was awaiting recusal in court on the matter.

Yangkin tried to ban masked mandates by his order last month, the first day of his tenure. The move was immediately met with lawsuits from parent groups and school boards across the Commonwealth. Arlington County the judge sided with these groups against the executive’s orderand the issue remains pending in the courts.

The adoption and signing of the bill will not stop this lawsuit, but will make it more of an academic issue for parents.

The bill defines “public” schools; WTOP asked spokesmen for the Department of Education and Health in Yangkin and Virginia what the rules are for private schools.

contributed to this report.

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