Virginia Senate passes bill that would make masks optional for students in schools

Masks no longer being mandatory for students in Virginia is taking another step forward.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate of Virginia passed SB 739 by a 21-17 vote.

The bill states the following:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law or any regulation, rule, or policy implemented by a 22 school board, school division, school official, or other state or local authority, the parent of any child enrolled in a public elementary or secondary school, or in any school-based early childhood care and education program, may elect for such child to not wear a mask while on school property. A parent making such an election shall not be required to provide a reason or any certification of the child’s health or education status. No student shall suffer any adverse disciplinary or academic consequences as a result of this parental election.

Part C of Senate Bill No. 739

Its next step is to be voted on by the Virginia House of Delegates.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin released the following statement following the bill passing the Senate:

“Kids across the Commonwealth win with this bipartisan vote today. Parents are now empowered to decide whether their children should wear a mask in schools. I promised that as governor, Virginia would move forward with an agenda that empowers parents on the upbringing, education, and care of their own children. I am proud to continue to deliver on that promise. This vote also shows that school boards who are attacking their own students are stunningly detached from reality. It’s time to put kids first and get back to normal.”

Gov. Youngkin

This bill is moving forward less than a week after the Supreme Court of Virginia dismissed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s mask order.

The governor’s order, Executive Order No. 2, is similar to this bill moving forward in the General Assembly.