Excellent news for students in two Hampton Roads school districts.
On Thursday, the ever-sensible Chesapeake School Board voted 7-1 to abolish its mask mandate. Beginning Monday, students in Chesapeake can breathe free again.
The board is complying with an executive order signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Saturday, removing the former governor’s mask mandate for all Virginia students in grades K-12.
In a more stunning move, the left-leaning Virginia Beach School Board also decided to more or less comply with Youngkin’s order by a vote of 9-2.
In a weird sleight-of-hand, the board voted to allow parents to opt their children out of its mask mandate beginning on Monday. The compromise was crafted by Superintendent Aaron Spence. It allows the Beach to keep its mandate in place, while letting parents decide if their kids should wear masks for seven hours a day.
This is surprising, given that it was just last month, on Dec. 20, that the Beach board voted to keep masks mandatory by an 8 to 3 vote.
The Beach will still require masks on school buses – that’s a federal regulation – and when kids visit the school nurse. The schools will now revert to 10-day quarantines, from 5-days, because some children will not be wearing masks.