A federal judge has ruled that an executive order and new Virginia law allowing parents to opt their children out of classroom COVID-19 mask mandates cannot prevent 12 vulnerable students from seeking a “reasonable modification” that could include a requirement that their classmates wear masks.
These students’ health conditions, which include cancer, cystic fibrosis, asthma, Down syndrome, lung conditions and weakened immune systems, make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, their parents say. They sued Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin and other state officials in February, arguing that the mask-optional policy effectively excludes some disabled children from public schools, in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
U.S. District Court Judge Norman Moon granted in part an injunction sought by the parents. But he emphasized that the executive order and state law remain in effect, and said families of any other vulnerable children will have to make their own cases.