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Arlington judge temporarily blocks Youngkin school mask order

Mask on table
An Arlington judged is allowing local school boards to continue enforcing mask mandates for now. (Photo: Charles Fishburne/VPM News)

An Arlington judge ordered on Friday that schools can continue requiring students to wear face masks - for now. 

Seven school boards across the state, including Arlington, Hampton and Richmond, sued Gov. Glenn Youngkin to stop his executive order making masks optional in schools. 

They argue that the state constitution gives school boards, not the governor, the authority to decide what happens in their districts. 

The executive order also overrides a state law that school districts must abide by the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC still recommends universal masking for schools regardless of vaccination status.

In the order, the judge wrote that upending policies that have been in place throughout the school year would cause “irreparable harm.” 

The governor can appeal this temporary decision. A final ruling on the lawsuit is pending. A similar lawsuit filed by a group of Chesapeake parents has also yet to be ruled on.

VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.