Families Sue Loudoun School Board Over Mask Mandate

Three families are suing the School Board in Circuit Court over the division’s mask requirement, which they say is in violation of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order, and that the board is denying children an in-person education. 

The school division is continuing with required masking in school buildings regardless of vaccination status. Youngkin signed an executive order on Jan. 15 seeking to make masks optional in schools beginning Jan. 24. But the School Board voted to support Superintendent Scott Ziegler’s decision to continue with the masking requirement. 

The plaintiffs include Kristen Barnett, Heather Yescavage, and former candidate for the open Leesburg School Board seat, Colin Doniger. All of them have children enrolled in Loudoun County Public Schools. 

“The School Board’s actions have directly interfered with the right of each parent here… to make educational decisions for their children, all of whom have been directly and irreparably harmed by the unlawful Universal Mask Mandate and would attend their respective Loudoun County Public Schools mask-free if it were not for the Mandate,” the filing reads.

Youngkin’s executive order is also the subject of a lawsuit from other school boards, who argue that the order is illegal because it conflicts with state law. Senate Bill 1303, signed into law last year, requires that school divisions provide full-time in-person instruction, and to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to the greatest extent practicable. The CDC still recommends masking in schools.

The Loudoun parents’ lawsuit, however, claims that the School Board is in violation of Senate Bill 1303, though, because their children are not permitted in school without wearing masks.

The plaintiffs claim that the school division has caused irreparable harm to their children with the mask mandate, which they claim the board does not have authority to impose.

“Interpreting the School Board’s powers broadly enough to authorize the Universal Mask Mandate would put those powers in conflict with parents’ ‘fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education and care’ of their children,” the filing says.

The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction against the division’s masking policy. They are represented by the D.C. law firm Jones Day.

 On Jan. 14, about 100 students attended school without wearing masks. They were sent to auditoriums and gymnasiums, separated from the rest of the student body. School division spokesman Wayde Byard called “Maskless Monday” a non-event.

15 thoughts on “Families Sue Loudoun School Board Over Mask Mandate

  • 2022-02-01 at 8:31 pm
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    I can’t fault the three parents for filing this lawsuit. They emphatically oppose LCPS’ mask mandate. They want what’s best for their children. However, I don’t see a court issuing an injunction against LCPS anytime soon. On a positive note, Dr. Ziegler said the metrics appear to be moving in a favorable direction. Thus, I pray LCPS’ mask mandate will end sooner rather than later. Happy Year of the Tiger Loudoun!

    • 2022-02-01 at 9:53 pm
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      “On a positive note” and Ziegler should never appear in the same sentence unless the word termination is also included.

  • 2022-02-02 at 8:34 am
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    The School Board has violated these children’s civil rights and they should be punished accordingly.

    • 2022-02-02 at 5:27 pm
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      Hardly. They were told the rules and violated them anyway. They were warned of the consequences. No civil rights were violated.

      I sincerely hope they are wasting their own money on this and aren’t being represented by some grandstanding outside legal group.

  • 2022-02-02 at 9:35 am
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    The LCPS rigorously enforces their mask mandate as the LCBoS announces plans to end the emergency. LCPS takes a strong stand on removing mask-less children than removing rapists from their schools. Is it possible that Governor Youngkin was using the same science as the basis of his EO on masks that LCBoS is using to declare an end to the emergency? Kind of sounds like Youngkin is using science but Ziegler is just making it up.

  • 2022-02-02 at 9:57 am
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    Next week Tube Top Tuesday. Requiring my child to wear shirts with straps is in conflict with my fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education and care of my child. We Want Bikinis Wednesday. Thong Thursday.

  • 2022-02-02 at 12:24 pm
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    The police were outside my daughter’s school today to prevent maskless children from entering. The insanity of preventing kids from getting an education, while enforcing a useless mask mandate sums up how bad the LCSB is and why they ALL should be recalled. Kids who don’t comply will be charged with trespassing. WTF?

  • 2022-02-02 at 3:11 pm
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    It’s all politics with these folks. What a terrible example they set for their children.

  • 2022-02-02 at 6:25 pm
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    Once again, Loudoun County is showing the nation that these families who are suing,s are a bunch of yahoos. I am getting emails, texts and calls from around the world, asking what is going on. I have no defense for these less than intelligent people trying to make this mask mandate political. Your Governor Stunkin is ruing Virginia and he has only been in office a few weeks. If you want to live in the this element, move to Flori-DUH and join that subhuman, Death-Santis and his Hitler-like rules. You would be happier among your own kind. For now, you are making Loudoun look stupid and shallow.

    • 2022-02-06 at 9:42 pm
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      Sedonacat, it’s not Gov. DeSantis who’s issuing “Hitler-like rules,” it’s LCPS. Hitler didn’t give choices. And neither is LCPS. Where Youngkin gave us the FREEDOM of choice to wear a mask or not, LCPS is coming down on the side of tyranny. It’s always cloaked in the guise of “safety.” But it’s tyranny. And if I’m a “yahoo” for choosing freedom over “safe” tyranny, so be it. I’m betting you would have been a loyalist rooting for King George back in 1775.

  • 2022-02-02 at 6:32 pm
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    How can the School Board permit HS students to wrestle without a mask on, but those same students cannot sit in a classroom without a mask on?

    Seems to me the chances of a Covid spread are greater while grappling than sitting in a classroom.

  • 2022-02-03 at 2:39 pm
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    Assume these parents, likeGovernor Youngkin and the cronies he’s put on the government payroll in Richmond, talk all the time about how big government shouldn’t tell people what to do. How local control is to be cherished and on and on. Until, of course, they think they can crack the whip and tell everyone else what to do. Same crowd wants to ban books in school but not guns in schools.

    • 2022-02-03 at 5:23 pm
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      Your logic appears to be broken.
      The ENTIRE point of the Governor’s Executive Order is NOT TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO DO.

      You and your children are free to wear six masks if that what you choose.

      See how that works?

  • 2022-02-03 at 3:34 pm
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    “On a positive note, Dr. Ziegler said the metrics appear to be moving……”

    Hey TImmy, not sure what planet you are on.

    Loudoun metrics for education are tanking. That means they are down significantly.

    Love to hear you defend Ziegler and the fact that his lies and transfer of a kid to anther school led to yet another rape.

    Ziegler needs to GO along with the entire school board that is a national embarrassment.

  • 2022-02-07 at 10:42 am
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    Parents; there are thousands of you and a few administrators. Go after them once and for all and stop their malarkey with your children. You are the ones that pay their salaries. They work for you not their democratic, socialist agendas.

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