VEA Applauds Governor’s ‘Mask-Up’ Mandate for K-12 Schools
August 12, 2021
August 12, 2021
VEA President James J. Fedderman made the following statement regarding the Public Health Emergency Order:
Today, Governor Northam announced a public health order requiring universal masking in K-12 schools.
We applaud this move. Wearing masks in schools right now is a commonsense precaution that will save lives.
The Centers for Disease Control and state health officials are unanimous that keeping students and staff safe will require making vaccines available, masking, physical distancing, efficient ventilation, and other measures. All these are important—and masking up is a simple and responsible way for children and adults alike to slow community spread of COVID and keep Virginians out of hospital emergency rooms.
VEA places the highest priority on the health and safety of students, their families and communities, and school staffs. We called in July for universal masking as back-to-school season was starting, and we demand that school divisions across the Commonwealth follow the Governor’s call.
Everyone—students, parents, and members of the Virginia Education Association—wants a return to a normal school year with no disruptions in learning. By helping to make it possible for students to return to five days a week of in-person learning, masks are an essential tool.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, teachers in Virginia earn 32.7% less in weekly wages than other (non-teacher) college-educated workers. Virginia’s teacher wage penalty is the worst in the nation.Take Action Now