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RPS votes to stick with mask requirement despite Youngkin's executive order

Richmond Public Schools
Posted at 10:41 PM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 23:17:40-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Public Schools formally recommitted to its mask requirement in a meeting on Tuesday night despite an executive order issued by Governor Glenn Youngkin.

Youngkin's order would allow parents to decide if their children wear masks in schools. The order has resulted in backlash from multiple Virginia school districts, including Henrico and Richmond who both said they would continue with their mask requirement.

Additionally, a group of Chesapeake parents filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Youngkin's order.

In a solo effort and failed attempt, Richmond school board member Jonathan Young proposed a change to the resolution during the Tuesday meeting. He suggested giving parents the option to opt out of the requirement.

"What the apprehension is relevant to trusting our parents to know what is best for their children," Young said.

However, Young's efforts were met with little agreement by other board members.

"I will never question a parent about what they feel is best for their child. We have an obligation as a division to ensure that safety is first over instruction," Board Chair Doctor Shonda Harris Muhammed said.

A state law passed with bipartisan support last year requiring school districts to follow CDC guidelines as best as they can. These guidelines currently recommend universal masking.

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