Newsletter

FCPS can keep mask requirement for now, judge in lawsuit rules

FCPS Superintendent Scott-Brabrand wears a face mask (via FCPS)

Fairfax County Public Schools will continue requiring face masks after notching a victory in its lawsuit against Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order prohibiting school mask mandates.

Arlington County Circuit Court Judge Louise DiMatteo granted a temporary injunction today (Friday) to Fairfax County and the six other school boards suing Youngkin, allowing them to enforce their mask requirements until a permanent ruling is made.

“This temporary order takes immediate action to protect the health and wellbeing of all students and staff and reaffirms the constitutional right of Virginia’s local school boards to enact policy at the local level,” FCPS said in a statement.

The school boards argued in a hearing on Wednesday (Feb. 2) that Youngkin’s optional mask order violates Virginia’s Constitution as well as Senate Bill 1303, which required schools to provide in-person learning while following federal COVID-19 health guidelines “to the maximum extent practicable.”

In her opinion, DiMatteo makes clear that the temporary injunction was granted based not on the benefits of universal versus optional masking, but on whether Youngkin had the authority to issue his executive order.

“The single issue before the Court is whether the Governor, via his emergency powers, can override the decision of local school boards delegated to them under SB 1303,” the judge wrote. “On this pivotal point, the Court concludes that the Governor cannot.”

As local school and health officials stated in a virtual town hall earlier this week, FCPS reiterated in a message to families that requiring mask-wearing inside schools remains necessary to limit Covid’s spread so students can keep learning in person:

Dear FCPS Staff and Families,

Just a short time ago, a judge in Arlington Circuit Court agreed to a temporary injunction requested by FCPS and six other Northern Virginia school districts, that takes immediate action to protect the health of our community and also reaffirms the constitutional right in the Commonwealth of Virginia of school boards to make policy decisions for their districts.

A final hearing will be held at a future date. In the meantime, Fairfax County Public Schools will continue our mask requirement for all students, staff, and visitors, a regulation that is overwhelmingly supported by our staff and families. Read our statement on today’s decision.

Universal mask wearing has been a critical safety measure throughout the pandemic, especially during this most recent surge. We are committed to providing all students safe and in-person instruction. We believe that in order to do so, masks and our other layered prevention strategies must remain in place for now. As a reminder, all students are required to wear a face covering while indoors on school property or during FCPS-provided transportation, unless they have an exemption.

We are working with health experts to determine a safe and effective plan to scale back when it is appropriate to do so. FCPS will continue, as it has since this pandemic began, to prioritize the health and safety of all students and staff.

Some of you will be relieved by today’s decision and others will be frustrated. We understand. We ask everyone to treat each other with kindness, respect school procedures, and work together to safely move forward.

Fairfax County Public Schools

A date for the court hearing on a possible permanent injunction has not been set yet.

Recent Stories

The wait for new restaurants at The Boro in Tysons is over at last. Circa bistro (1675 Silver Hill Drive) and Él Bebe (8354 Broad Street), a Mexican restaurant and…

Jimmy Bierman is running for the seat of Dranesville District supervisor (courtesy Stephen Barrett and Moore Campaigns) The Dranesville District seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has its…

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected] We…

George C. Marshall High School in Idylwood (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) A special education teacher at Marshall High School in Idylwood has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a student…

Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.

He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

The Rhea Baker State Farm Agency is proud to support Shelter House in providing safe places to be during quarantine. Shelter House’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness and domestic violence. Right now they are providing over 200 hotel rooms to those in need in our community. In the past year, across all programs, Shelter House served nearly 500 households comprised of over 1,500 individuals, 60% of which were children.

Of the households that exited shelter, over 70% moved to permanent housing. The Baker Agency has served Vienna and Tysons residents and business owners since 2007 and proudly offers insurance solutions for you home, condo, auto insurance, life insurance and more. We offer complimentary reviews and coach teen drivers to safer, better drivers, and to help keep your auto insurance rates down! We are always happy to talk or text at 703-847-6880.

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list