NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Students in northern Virginia schools will have to continue wearing face masks after an Arlington judge granted a temporary restraining order preventing Gov. Glenn Youngkin‘s mask-optional order from taking effect.
The decision comes after seven school boards requested a temporary restraining order in a lawsuit to block Youngkin’s order to allow parents and students the option to opt out of a universal COVID-19 face mask policy for schools in the commonwealth.
“Having addressed all aspects of whether a temporary restraining order should issue, the Court concludes that the School Boards’ Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order with regard to optional masking of children should be granted,” Arlington Circuit Court Judge Louise DiMatteo wrote in a Friday ruling.
The school boards that took part in the legal battle include: Alexandria City, Arlington County, City of Richmond, Fairfax County, Falls Church City, Hampton City and Prince William County. Combined, those school districts represent more than 350,000 students and nearly 50,000 teachers and staff.
The optional mask order, which Youngkin signed on his first day in office and which took effect on Jan. 24, does not prevent students from wearing masks in schools, as some progressives have argued at times.
Last month, Youngkin made it clear he would fight back to ensure parental “rights are protected.”
“We will use every resource within the governor’s authority to explore what we can do and what we will do in order to make sure parents’ rights are protected,” the governor told reporters in January.
Fox News’ Brian Flood and David Rutz contributed to this article.