A brand new Virginia state legislation prohibiting masks mandates in public faculties doesn’t apply to 12 college students with disabilities whose dad and mom challenged the legislation, a federal choose has dominated.
Final month, the dad and mom of 12 college students throughout Virginia requested the court docket to halt enforcement of the legislation, saying it violated their rights below the federal American with Disabilities Act. The legislation, signed by newly elected Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, went into impact March 1; it provides dad and mom a say over whether or not their kids ought to put on masks at school.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Court docket Choose Norman Moon issued a preliminary injunction, saying the brand new legislation can not forestall the 12 college students from searching for “affordable modification” to their classroom setting, which may embody requiring the remainder of the category to put on masks.
The group of oldsters have kids whose well being situations vary from cystic fibrosis to bronchial asthma that put them at heightened threat for COVID-19.
Moon mentioned that federal legislation requires that faculties be capable of afford “affordable modifications” from common insurance policies and mentioned that the youngsters concerned within the case would undergo “irreparable hurt” ought to modifications not be made.
The choose additionally emphasised that the Virginia legislation would keep in place and that the injunction solely applies to the 12 plaintiffs on this case.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which was considered one of a number of authorized organizations that filed on behalf of the plaintiffs, mentioned the injunction served as a “blueprint.”
“Whereas the injunction is restricted to those 12 college students, it’s clearly a blueprint for any dad or mum of a pupil with disabilities to guarantee their faculty district could make lodging when the protection of their kids is at stake and that state legislation can not stand in the best way,” the ACLU mentioned.
In a press release, Virginia Lawyer Basic Jason Miyares mentioned the ruling affirms that “dad and mom have the proper to make selections for his or her kids.”
The case was seen as a big step in Virginia’s masks mandate controversy as a result of it used the American with Disabilities Act as a authorized argument to counter the brand new legislation.