At last night’s Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) meeting, school-board members patted themselves on the back for the 99.5 percent student-compliance rate with the public-school system’s mask mandate. Never mind that students who did not comply faced suspension, a pretty significant deterrent for college-bound students concerned about their school transcripts. FCPS decided to interpret “compliance” as “support.”

Fairfax County, Va., school officials want the public to think that all these students love being forced to wear masks eight hours a day, including during gym class, since doubling down on their policy. They did so despite the growing recognition that there is no solid evidence that masking in schools is helpful, and could very well cause harm (see, for example, this comprehensive review of available data in the Atlantic). FCPS decided to ignore and legally challenge Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Executive Order No. 2 stating that schools must give all parents the option to opt out of masking for their children. Apparently FCPS like it when students and the community comply with their decrees, but are not interested in complying with a Republican governor’s.

Photo credit: Asra Nomani