Jen Psaki backed her kid’s school in a fight with Virginia’s GOP governor over mandating masks for students

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House on October 19, 2021.

Jen Psaki backed Arlington Public Schools in a mask-mandate argument with the state governor.
The district is defying a move by GOP Gov. Youngkin allowing parents to opt out of mask rules. 
Psaki said that, unlike her, Youngkin doesn’t have kids at the schools in question.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki weighed in on a dispute between Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia and her local school district, backing its decision to press ahead with masks mandates despite his instructions.

Youngkin sparked a dispute with Arlington Public Schools by ordering that school systems allow parents to opt out of compulsory masks rules in the classroom. 

Psaki in a tweet Sunday said: “Hi there. Arlington county parent here (don’t believe you are @GlennYoungkin but correct me if I am wrong). Thank you to @APSVirginia for standing up for our kids, teachers and administrators and their safety in the midst of a transmissible variant.”

—Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) January 17, 2022

In the tweet, she linked to a report by Nick Ianelli of the local WTOP network on Youngkin pledging to take action against the school district — though noting that it was unclear exactly what this this meant.

The Arlington Public Schools said Saturday it would continue to require kids to wear a masks in schools and on school buses. It noted that public schools were by compelled by law to comply with CDC guidance to slow the spread of the disease, and that the agency still recommends masks. 

Youngkin in November became Virginia’s first GOP governor since 2009.

He made educational issues the central battleground of his campaign, pledging to stop COVID-related school closures and loosen restrictions and taking aim at the teaching of critical race theory, the academic analysis of structural racism. 

In a flurry of executive orders after taking office, Youngkin announced he was banning the teaching of critical race theory, as well as seeking to roll back rules seeking the slow the spread of COVID.

Republican leaders are said to see Youngkin’s campaign as a blueprint for national success in this year’s mid-terms, as school districts impose new restrictions and closures in response to the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

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Politics, jen psaki, Glenn Youngkin, school COVID closures, mask mandates, News UK

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