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Judge orders Loudoun County schools to allow students to attend without masks Thursday

WSET Lynchburg/Roanoke logo WSET Lynchburg/Roanoke 2/17/2022 Tom Roussey and 7News Staff
© Provided by WSET Lynchburg/Roanoke

ASHBURN, Va. (7News) — Calling suspending children for not wearing masks “unreasonable, heavy-handed, and simply harsh,” a Loudoun County judge issued an order Wednesday evening that Loudoun County Public Schools must allow children to attend school without a mask starting Thursday.

After the judge left the courtroom there were some cheers and hugs as parents and some children who had been suspended for weeks celebrated.

Most of those in the courtroom had come out in support of three parents suing the school district for not following an executive order by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin that made masking in schools optional.

SEE ALSO: Gov. Youngkin signs bill to allow parents to opt out of mask mandate in schools

The order capped a bizarre day in which the scope of what lawyers were arguing about narrowed significantly.

After the hearing began, Youngkin signed a law making masking optional in schools as of March 1.

After that, Loudoun County Public Schools announced in light of the law that masking would be optional as of this coming Tuesday, February 22.

SEE ALSO: Youngkin looks to root out critical race theory in Virginia

So by the time the hearing was over, lawyers were mainly arguing over whether the judge should allow students to attend school without a mask the next two school days.

The judge said in making his order that the case by the plaintiffs was likely to succeed. Their lawyers did not comment afterward and it’s unclear if they will continue with the case now that LCPS decided to make masking optional as of next week and was ordered to make it optional starting Thursday.

Lawyers for the Loudoun County School Board did not comment either.

Masks will still be required on school buses via federal order. If a student forgets their mask, the bus driver will supply one. Masks will also be required at any preschool program by Head Start.

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