VEA Strongly Opposed to Youngkin’s Executive Order on School Mask Use
January 20, 2022
January 20, 2022
VEA President James J. Fedderman made the following statement today regarding Executive Order 2:
The Virginia Education Association (VEA) stands in opposition to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Executive Order 2, which attempts to repeal the mandatory masking of students and educators in Virginia’s public schools. The Executive Order is clearly an overreach of gubernatorial power, and any attempt to enforce it would be without legal basis. This order would stand in direct contradiction to the statutory and constitutional duties local schools have to protect the health and safety of educators and students. We support the lawsuit that has already been filed in the Virginia Supreme Court by parents challenging the governor’s order. We are currently exploring other legal action, offering legal and other support to our members’ efforts to be safe at school, and working in partnership with parents and school divisions across the state.
The science is clear that proper masking is the single most effective COVID mitigation strategy for students and educators in classrooms where social distancing is not possible. VEA stands with staff, students, and families all over the Commonwealth in their concern for protecting health and safety within our schools so that in-person instruction can continue uninterrupted. If the governor is truly interested in helping our students thrive, he should work with legislators to pass bills to raise educator pay and fully fund our Standards of Quality using the traditional legislative process rather than trying to dictate from behind the walls of the Governor’s Mansion.