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Maskless students in Loudoun County sent to auditoriums and libraries for the school day
by Nick Minock
Monday, January 24th 2022
Maskless students in Loudoun County were sent to auditoriums and libraries for the school day at Woodgrove High School on January 24, 2022. (7News)
LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (7News) — At Woodgrove High School on Monday, the school day started with a group of parents and students applauding Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s end to the statewide mask mandate in schools -- and rallying against Loudoun County Public Schools’ mandate that still requires masks.
“I think it’s ridiculous we are forced to wear masks even though outside of school we are free not to wear a mask,” one Loudoun County high schooler told 7News.
“It should be optional,” another high school student said.
“You shouldn’t have to wear it,” said another high school student. “Some people can’t breathe well.”
Down the street, at Loudoun Valley High School, some parents expressed outrage with the school district’s mask policy.
“It’s about parents’ rights,” said Lisa Harcrow, a Loudoun County mother. “They are healthy children. There is no reason to be masking healthy children.”
But teachers like Christy Judd at Loudoun Valley High School are relieved that masks will still be on in school.
“As the mother of a child who is extremely medically comprised, it gave me peace that at least in the immediate future I didn’t have to choose between my child and students,” said Judd.
“We are not trying to defy the Governor’s order,” a spokesperson with LCPS told 7News on Monday. “We are trying to do what’s best for our 83,000 students and 16,000 staff. We did this after consulting with the Loudoun County health department. We are in an omicron surge. We probably have not seen the peak of the surge.”
Gov. Glenn Youngkin's action on masks forces teachers, parents to make tough decisions
Several Woodgrove High School students went into school maskless on Monday and they were sent to the auditorium with other maskless students. Several high school kids and their parents told 7News they were bored and weren’t given enough lessons and homework to fill the school day.
7News heard the same concerns from the Platt family who allowed their kids to take off their masks in school. The Platts are hoping school districts will listen to what voters decided last November.
“We elected a new governor,” said Jon Platt. “And the first thing he did was a new executive order which states we as parents have the fundamental rights to decide mask or no mask.”
“There was a significant voter turnout and that speaks to the fact that people were motivated to engage in the process,” said Abbie Platt. “People across the board said we are ready for something different and they expected to be heard. And here we are.”
On Monday morning, the Platt family decided their two boys were not going to mask in school any longer. They were stopped at the door by the school principal.
“Oh, we are not doing a mask today,” Mr. Platt told the principal.
“She greeted us and basically said they can’t enter the building,” said Mr. Platt.
“She said you should really take your children home and they’re not going to be allowed to go to class,” said Mrs. Platt. “They will go to the library; they will be separated in the library.”
And that’s what happened. The Platt’s first and fifth graders spent seven hours in their elementary school library maskless. The elementary school boys told 7News they were bored in the library, but grateful they didn’t have to wear a mask in school.
“Our littlest guy has chronic asthma that has been exasperated by the mask,” said Mrs. Platt. “He’s had a medical exemption that has not been honored. So for us this is super important. He needs to be able to breathe.”
Afterward, 7News followed the Platts as they walked their middle schooler to class.
“I really want to get the best education I can get without being interrupted,” the Platt’s daughter told 7News. “I feel like the mask, I can’t breathe with them on. I get headaches in school, and it’s kind of weird that it’s required kids have to wear it but if you go to grocery stores or movie theaters it’s not required there.”
On Monday, the Platt’s middle schooler walked through her school’s doors maskless as Mr. Platt had a conversation with the principal about the governor’s executive order.
“The new executive order states that we as parents have the fundamental right to decide,” said Mr. Platt.
“We’ve honored every executive order,” said Mrs. Platt. “We have carefully followed every rule every law and we intend to follow this one as well.”
After 87 days of protest, 'People's Convoy' calls it quits in Hagerstown
by Tim Swift
Friday, May 20th 2022
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WBFF) — A group of truckers known as the People's Convoy who have been protesting COVID restrictions for the past three months decided to end their campaign Friday.
"The People’s Convoy declares victory and announces its conclusion of the national convoy portion of this great movement," the group said in a statement. "It’s been 87 amazing days!"
The truckers have been intermittently protesting along highways in the Washington, D.C. area while staying at a Hagerstown raceway.
On Friday, the truckers were evicted from the raceway, causing a dispute between the rank-and-file members of the convoy and its leaders who were in a sequestered luxury RV.
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There were reports of fighting, but the Maryland State Police, who were on the scene, said the dispute was largely peaceful. A live stream of the incident shows state troopers telling the truckers they need to leave the raceway because they haven't paid to stay there.
The truckers responded by saying they paid their leaders money to be able to stay. Group eventually dispersed without incident. There was some talk online about reconvening at the local Wal-Mart.
The People's Convoy was inspired by another trucker convoy protest held in Canada at the start of the year. However, the American version never matched the impact of the Canadian protests, which disrupted trade and shut down a portion of the Canadian capital of Ottawa.
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