Rep. Bob Good Leads GOP Virginia Members in calling on Governor Northam to lift mask mandate for students
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Bob Good (VA-05) led Republican members of Virginia in sending a letter asking Governor Ralph Northam to reconsider guidance requiring mask wearing in K-12 schools across the Commonwealth of Virginia, even extending to the fall. The letter is a response to Governor Northam’s May 14 executive order, which largely lifted the mask mandate across the commonwealth but maintained that students and teachers are still required to wear masks on school property.
“Parents, not the government should decide if their child wears a mask in the classroom,” said Congressman Bob Good. “Our children have suffered enough, it’s time to restore common sense in our classrooms.”
We write to request that you reconsider the executive order requiring mask wearing in K-12 schools across the Commonwealth of Virginia, even extending to the fall.
Your May 14 executive order largely lifted the mask mandate across the commonwealth but maintained that students and teachers are still required to wear masks on school property. Although the low vaccination rates among children may form the foundation for this policy, we ask that you consider other important facts.
Research has consistently shown that children are at low risk for contracting COVID-19, or having severe case if they do become infected with the virus. Additionally, schools have not been considered a significant contributor to community transmission. Studies show that staff-to-staff transmission is more common than student to staff, staff to student, or student to student.
Virginia schools can still mitigate the spread of COVID-19 without masking children. Teachers, and children ages 12-18, are able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if they so choose. Promoting handwashing and regular cleanliness will remain vital—as they always have in school settings—to ensure that any sort of disease does not spread.
Parents should once again be given autonomy over their child’s educational experience. Parents know that children are at low risk for catching COVID-19. Parents know that wearing masks can be harmful to children’s development and emotional wellbeing. Decisions about our schools should come from parents, not government mandates.
Over the past 14 months, our state and our country have made tremendous progress fighting this virus. Sadly, many misguided policies came at the expense of our liberties. It is past time to defend the freedom of each Virginian to choose whether or not to wear a mask.
Thank you for taking our thoughts, and the thoughts of our constituents, into consideration. We hope you reconsider your guidance and stop masking our children.