Local districts rejecting Youngkin's order making masks optional
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Local school divisions are rejecting Governor Glenn Youngkin's executive order to ban mask mandates in schools.
"We're going to rescind the mandate that requires K-12 children to wear a mask to school, and we've been quite clear about that," Youngkin said.
He says he cannot ban mask mandates. Schools will make that decision for themselves.
Several local school divisions alerted families about their mitigation plans Monday.
Madison County Public Schools will let parents decide if their kids wear a mask to school or not. Parents who do not want their kid's faces covered are asked to send a letter with their child to class Tuesday.
Albemarle County and Charlottesville City schools will still require all of their students to mask up.
Albemarle County Public Schools spokesperson Phil Giaramita says three factors drove this decision.
He says the division believes face coverings help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the recent surge in positive cases, and a state law that requires schools to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends students wear masks.
"That legislation is in effect until August of this year. Unless there's some change in that legislation, we don't believe school divisions have the option,” Giaramita said.
Several viewers reached out on social media who say they're in favor of Youngkin's order.
"Freedom is a good thing. we used to all agree on this."
"I'm a teacher in Virginia and happy that Governor Youngkin has lifted the mask mandate."
"Let's restore individual responsibility. We have gone down a slippery, insane slope for too long."
Anna Scholl, a mother of two Albemarle students, says she's pleased with the division's choice.
"The choice, whether or not to wear a mask doesn't just impact you. It impacts the people around you when it comes to keeping us all safe from COVID, especially people like my three-year-old son who isn't able to be vaccinated yet," Scholl said.