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Jen Psaki backs her child’s Virginia school district after it defied Youngkin


‘Thank you for standing up for our kids and teachers’: Jen Psaki praises her child’s Virginia school district after it defied Gov. Glenn Youngkin and pressed ahead with mask mandates

  • The mama bear press secretary defended her child’s school’s decision to continue its mask requirement despite the new governor’s order banning them
  • Youngkin in one of his first orders required school districts to allow parents an opportunity to opt out of masking their children at school
  • The governor, who took office Saturday, issued 11 day-one executive orders
  • Psaki noted her personal stake in the matter, having a child who attends Arlington schools 


White House press secretary Jen Psaki went head-to-head with Virginia‘s governor Glenn Youngkin over mask mandates in schools over the weekend.

The mama bear press secretary defended her child’s school’s decision to continue its mask requirement despite the new governor’s order banning them.    

Youngkin, who took office on Saturday, in one of his first orders required school districts to allow parents an opportunity to opt out of masking their children at school.

Psaki noted her personal stake in the matter, having a child who attends Arlington schools, and pointed out that Youngkin’s children do not attend school in the district. 

‘Hi there. Arlington county parent here (don’t believe you are @GlennYoungkin but correct me if I am wrong). Thank you to @APSVirginia for standing up for our kids, teachers and administrators and their safety in the midst of a transmissible variant,’ she wrote on Twitter. 

Psaki and husband Greg Mecher have two children, aged 3 and 6.  

Psaki quoted a clip where Youngkin was asked what he would do after Arlington announced it would not comply. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki went head-to-head with Virginia’s governor Glenn Youngkin over mask mandates in schools over the weekend

‘If there’s one thing that hopefully everybody heard in November it’s that it is time to listen to parents. So over the course of this week I hope they will listen to parents, because we will use every resource within the governor’s authority to explore what we will do and can do in order to make sure that parents’ rights are protected,’ Youngkin said.  

Youngkin, the first Republican to win the governor’s seat in Virginia in over a decade, issued a list of 11 day-one executive orders on Saturday. Among them was one that promised ‘to empower Virginia parents in their children’s education and upbringing by allowing parents to make decisions on whether their child wears a mask in school.’

Another of his day-one orders promised to end the use of ‘divisive concepts’ in the classroom, particularly the teaching of critical race theory.  

Youngkin, shown above on the day of his swearing-in, in day-one order promised to end the use of 'divisive concepts' in the classroom, particularly the teaching of critical race theory

Youngkin, shown above on the day of his swearing-in, in day-one order promised to end the use of ‘divisive concepts’ in the classroom, particularly the teaching of critical race theory

In a statement shortly after on Saturday, Arlington Public Schools said it would continue to require masking on school grounds and buses. 

Arlington had implemented its own mask mandate before even former Gov. Ralph Northam required masking for all public schools. 

Prince William County schools has said that it too will continue to mandate masks for its students. 

Education issues were central to Youngkin’s campaign, as he ran pledging to do away with Covid-related school closures and fighting back against critical race theory and other progressive ideologies in schools. 

Republicans have pointed to Youngkin’s successful campaign as a blueprint ahead of the midterm elections where they hope to take back the House.  

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