On Monday, Virginia officials agreed to a settlement with the plaintiffs. Their children attend ten different school districts, range in age from preschool to his 11th grade, and have conditions such as asthma, Down’s syndrome, cystic fibrosis, cancer, and diabetes. Increased risk of coronavirus infection. Under the 11-page settlement, the state education department agreed to issue guidance to more than 130 school districts in Virginia.
Virginia school districts scrapped mask mandate to comply with state law
“Schools should engage in a dialogue process with students and their parents to determine if some degree of masking is necessary to meet federal disability laws,” its guidance reads. “Schools must not require that a student with a disability be quarantined or excluded simply because peer masking is required as a necessary and reasonable modification.”
“We hope that all schools in Virginia will see this settlement as a sign that they should give their students the same consideration,” Eden Heilman, general counsel for the Virginia ACLU, said in a statement. increase.
“This is a fair settlement for everyone,” a Youngkin spokesperson wrote in an email Thursday.
Judge Norman Moon in the case has not yet approved the settlement, but it is almost certain he will. In March, Moon ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, saying that certain schools children attended must be allowed to require face masks if necessary to protect immunocompromised students involved in the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Charlottesville.
The settlement, announced this week, also states that Virginia will “completely and completely satisfy any and all claims, allegations, or causes of action for attorneys’ fees, costs, expenses, and costs incurred” to the families suing the state for $295,000. increase.
One of Jonkin’s first acts after taking office was to order a mask option. It quickly became controversial, led to lawsuits, and divided families, schools, and students. The majority of Virginia’s public schools chose not to comply with the order and continue to require masks for several weeks, according to an analysis by the Washington Post.Seven prominent districts have sued to stop the order.
Amid the turmoil, the state legislature passed a bill that would require schools to make masks voluntary, which Youngkin signed into law in early March. Virginia school districts have since rescinded mask requirements, some reluctantly.
Tasha Nelson, one of the parent plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said in a statement that this week’s settlement was “a step in righting wrongs.”
“Children like me shouldn’t be told they can’t attend school safely.”