Chesapeake parents sue Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin over mask policy

The fallout surrounding Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s executive order to lift the statewide mask mandate in schools continues. 

A group of parents in Chesapeake, Virginia sued the governor today. In addition, Virginia House and Senate Democrats called on the governor to rescind the order. 

Culpeper and Spotsylvania County public schools announced Tuesday they will follow the governor’s order to make masks optional. 

Northern Virginia schools react to Gov. Youngkin’s mask mandate order

Several school systems in Northern Virginia are still reviewing the order and considering what to do or have said they will not change the mask policy.  

Dr. Babur Lateef, Chairman of the Prince William County School Board told FOX Five there are a number of things to be considered before removing masks, and with the COVID-19 Omicron variant surging – now is not the right time to do it. 

Dr. Lateef says he believes now is the time, however, to start the conversation on how to remove masks in the future. 

He said Governor Youngkin should’ve met with state health and education leaders to come up with a plan, instead of trying to lift the mask mandate through an executive order.  

Dr. Lateef said there are other states that have optional masking policies. He believes Virginia should research and see how those states are doing, then collect the data and come up with recommendations.   

"Most people I know on the street; students and families would be happy to get rid of the masks at some point," Lateef said. "That point is different for everybody and that’s the point where we all have to find compromise and find the right metric by which we’re going to start talking about should we get rid of the masks. "

Gov. Youngkin's executive order is set to go into effect Monday January 24th.  

CDC encourages more Americans to consider N95, KN95 face masks

But some, including state lawmakers, have questioned the order saying it violates Senate Bill 1303, which became law last year. 

The legislation requires school boards to provide in-person learning five days a week and follow CDC guidelines to the "maximum extent practicable."  

FOX Five reached out to the Governor’s office and received this response: 

"The executive order allows parents to opt out of mask mandates, so that they can make the best decisions for their children and anyone who wants to wear a mask is free to do so..."