By Rebecca Downs, Featuring Carrie Lukas, president of the Independent Women’s Forum

On Tuesday, Carrie Lukas showed up to Forestville Elementary School with her two young children, ages 9 and 7, unmasked. The school is located in the Fairfax County Public School system, the largest district in Virginia and one of the largest in the country. Despite Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order leaving the decision of whether children should be masked up to parents, Lukas’ children were sent home and suspended. Further, the school’s security officer called the police to shoo away a handful of other parents who had gathered, and Luke Rosiak, a reporter for The Daily Wire, whose child will be eligible for that school next year. 

Lukas, who spoke to Townhall about the experience, explained that school had also been made aware the night before by her. She explained she let them know “I was going to be exercising my rights” and understood her children might be suspended. Lukas emphasized in our conversation that she likes her school, and has no ill will towards them, but shared “I’m frustrated with Fairfax County Public Schools, I think it’s important to make my views known.”

She also shared that she had been speaking about this issue before and encouraging others to get involved in such a way. The Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), which Lukas is vice president of, in addition to being president of Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), encouraged parents to sign onto a letter.

The suspension is consistent with news from last Friday that students in the school system who did not wear masks would be disciplined in such a way, though a text message sent to families attempted to do damage control that same night. 

Not only was a security guard present that day, which is out of the norm, but so was a press person, both of whom were sent by the school system to handle the exchange and try to block coverage of it. “Had they sat there and treated us like I was trying to treat them, it would kind of have been a non-story,” Lukas shared. 

Lukas’ children are back in the classroom, masked, as she does not want them to miss a lot of school, she shared. When asked what the motivation behind Tuesday was, she spoke to being a voice for other parents, and even teachers, in the district, who feared being ostracized and who did not have such jobs where they knew they had the backup that Lukas has.

At issue, according to the school boards, is whether the governor’s executive order can override the local school board’s authority. Youngkin, however, as has Attorney General Jason Miyares, have framed the issue as parents having authority over their children. 

Lukas will be attending a school board meeting on Thursday night she shared. 

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