RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia school districts were providing an update Sunday on the implications of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order that seeks to end mask mandates in schools, with some school systems saying they will continue to require masks. masks.

On Saturday, shortly after Youngkin took office as Virginia’s 74th governor, he issued nine executive orders, one of which ends the statewide COVID-19 mask mandate at K-schools. 12 from January 24.

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Youngkin said he would “consider all options” to preserve an opt-out option for parents from local school mask mandates amid resistance from some school districts and some Democrats who say state law requires Virginia to follow federal guidelines that recommend masks in schools.

University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that any challenge to the governor’s order would likely end up in court.


“We always said we were going to stand up for the parents,” Youngkin said in the interview with “Fox News Sunday.”

“In Virginia, it’s clear under the law that parents have a basic right to make decisions about the upbringing, nurturing, and care of their children,” Youngkin said. “And so we are giving parents an opt-out option. We empower them to make the right decision for their child when it comes to their child’s well-being.”

“We will use all the authority I have to consider all options to protect this right,” he said.

Some school systems are pushing back.

Richmond Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras tweeted on Saturday afternoon: “@RPS_Schools will maintain their 100% mask mandate for students, staff and visitors.”

The Times-Dispatch reports that the Alexandria City School System said in a statement Sunday that it “will continue to adhere to health and safety guidelines from the CDC and the Alexandria Health Department and will continue to requiring all individuals to wear masks that cover the nose and mouth in CSPA schools, facilities and buses.

The Fairfax County school system said it was reviewing the “operational implications” of Youngkin’s order, but also planned to continue to require students and staff to wear masks. Arlington County Public Schools said in a statement Saturday that its mask requirement was unchanged.

Youngkin said he was vaccinated and received a booster shot, but opposed the warrants. Another of his executive orders revokes the COVID vaccination requirement for state employees.

The governor’s order states that no parent who removes their child from a local school mask mandate “shall not be required to provide a reason or make a certification regarding their child’s health or education.”