Judge to Rule in Virginia Parents' Suit Against School Masks Law

The parents of some disabled children say their kids are vulnerable to serious illness if they contract COVID-19

Tiffany Hagler-Geard | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A federal court judge says he’ll rule soon in a lawsuit that claims Virginia's new mask law for schools violates the rights of children with disabilities and medical conditions.

A bill Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed into law on Feb. 16 allows families to opt out of school mask mandates.

Some parents of children with conditions such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, moderate-to-severe asthma, Down syndrome, lung conditions and weakened immune systems filed a lawsuit in February stating that Youngkin's ban on mask mandates leaves them vulnerable to serious illness if they contract COVID-19, WTOP previously reported.

The families said they need some form of a mask mandate in order for their children to safely attend school.

In a hearing Monday afternoon, an attorney for the families argued the Americans with Disabilities Act requires school districts to make reasonable accommodations so disabled children can attend class.

But right now a school district could be penalized if it required even some children to wear masks.

The attorney defending Youngkin's original executive order and the new state law said families of disabled children should seek accommodations first before suing school boards if they don’t come up with a plan.

The judge's first ruling will be on whether to grant a preliminary injunction to prevent
the state from enforcing its new law if masking is needed for a disabled student and their classmates.

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