This week, the battle over school mask regulations heated up significantly in numerous jurisdictions, most prominently in Virginia and New York.
An executive order rendered masks voluntary in the former, and a judge’s ruling made them at least momentarily necessary in the latter.
On Tuesday, a New York state appeals panel halted a lower court order that required children at public schools to wear masks.
The Empire State became the newest hotbed of a dispute regarding school mask regulations with the initial verdict.
Kids Prevented from Attending Classes
In Virginia, school authorities rejected Governor Glenn Youngkin’s executive order allowing parents to opt their kids out of mask regulations.
As parents in both jurisdictions tried to send their kids to school without masks, school systems in both states resorted to harsh tactics to achieve compliance, including the fear of punishment.
Before the court ruling’s stay, Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York stated her department had been taking calls from constituents saying their children are being prevented from entering classrooms unless they are wearing a mask.
🚨🚨 My office is answering calls from constituents – specifically parents who are informing us that their kids are being kept from entering schools unless they are wearing masks. THIS IS ILLEGAL. THERE IS NO STAY ON THIS COURT RULING.
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) January 25, 2022
Stefanik’s official stated to the Washington Examiner that staff members “got calls from New York guardians whose children were wrongfully turned away or forced to wear masks today.”
Parents were grumbling about how unmasked pupils were “intimidated by detention, humiliated, hauled out of schools, secluded, or had their marks threatened.”
On Tuesday, without masks, Carrie Lukas of Virginia sent her two primary school-aged children to Forestville Elementary School, a division of Fairfax County Public Schools, only to be informed they would be denied admission.
Lukas told Washington Examiner the school stationed a security officer and a public affairs official outside the school to interact with members of the press.
So @fcpsnews had security, police & a public affairs flack at the door of my elementary school today, all to deal with "threat" of my unmasked 7 and 9 year olds. They ordered a local journalist off the property who wanted to witness my polite attempt to exercise opt-out rights. pic.twitter.com/8vUQMu9ywz
— Carrie Lukas (@carrielukas) January 25, 2022
Lukas, working for the Independent Women’s Network, claimed she met with the school’s vice-principal.
She also claimed the vice principal purposefully avoided mentioning her two children would be penalized, while simultaneously stating they would be excluded from school if they chose not to wear a mask.
“You could see she was dreading having to inform me my children had been suspended,” Lukas explained.
“I’m sure they were attempting to avoid using those terms from a legal standpoint, and I, too, wanted them to be specific in expressing that.”
Unnecessary Pressure on Kids
According to The Daily Wire, Forestville Elementary School phoned the police Tuesday to report the sight of a Daily Wire reporter photographing Lukas’ effort to bring her children to school unmasked.
While her kids did not attend school on Tuesday, Lukas stated she did not want them to miss any other class days and arranged to ride the bus to school on Wednesday while masked.
“It’s insane that we continue to place such a huge responsibility on children at this age,” Lukas added, noting her seven-year-old son had never gone to school without wearing a mask.
“He’s lowering it, placing it on his desk, and then removing it, and, as you know, he’s a seven-year-old child. They return filthy and rather moist. It’s revolting.”
“I find it disrespectful that there appears to be no point at which they will say, ‘Parents have the right to choose,'” she continued.