State Watch

GOP lawmaker encourages students to not wear masks in school

Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) encouraged a group of students to go against their school’s policy and not wear masks.

“If nobody in Rappahannock complies [with the mask mandate], they can’t stop everyone,” Good said to a government class of 20 students Thursday, Rappahannock News reported. “If I was ya’ll, I’d say none of ya’ll wear a mask. What are they gonna do? They’re still going to have school.”

The state of Virginia mandates that every school must require masks regardless of students’ vaccination status. The meeting between the class and Good had to take place outside because Good refused to wear a mask in the school.

Along with discouraging masks, Good claimed that masks are ineffective and that coronavirus vaccines are more dangerous for teenagers than the virus itself. 

The Food and Drug Administration has deemed the vaccine safe for those above the age of 12.

“Being able to expose students to different world views is important on both sides,” Rappahannock County High School Principal Carlos Seward, who was at the event, said, according to the local outlet. “We don’t endorse one way or the other.”

Other topics discussed were Good’s anti-abortion stance, his thoughts about colleges being taken over by “the left,” his anti-critical race theory position and his support for video cameras in classrooms. 

Superintendent Shannon Grimsley told the local outlet she believes the students will not listen to Good’s remarks regarding violating the face mask policy. 

“Our students and families are very smart, competent individuals who have seen in real time the impact of increasing chances of being quarantined or causing others to be quarantined, as well as the potential of losing privileges, such as the ability to host events and fun activities should numbers increase too much,” she said.

However, the school previously had trouble with compliance and said events would get canceled if coronavirus cases didn’t go down. There are currently 54 students and staff in quarantine.

There has been some backlash to Good’s move to discourage masks, with Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, calling the remark “outrageous.”

Outrageous: GOP Congressman Bob Good urges high school students to rebel against required mask wearing, and wants cameras in every classroom to record for parents everything teachers say. Blasts all colleges except Christian ones,” he tweeted. 

The Hill has reached out to the school and Good for comment.

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