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VA assist. principal threatens to charge unmasked students with trespassing: Report

Children in a classroom. (Michael Anderson/WikiCommons)
February 03, 2022

The assistant principal of an elementary school in Loudoun County, Virginia threatened that unmasked students will be considered trespassers, a leaked audio recording revealed this week.

On Wednesday, Daily Caller reporter Chrissy Clark tweeted the audio recording reportedly between Creighton’s Corner Elementary School Assistant Principal Janet Davidson and a parent of a student at the school. “This is audio from the Assistant Principal of a Loudoun County elementary school informing parents that children who come back to school maskless will be charged with ‘trespassing’ In Virginia, trespassing is a Class I felony that holds a 12-month jail sentence or $2,500 fine.”

In the recording, the assistant principal reportedly said, “Until you arrive, your children will be held in an in-school restriction here at school.”

“It is important that I point out to you,” the audio recording continues, “that they are not allowed on campus or on Loudoun County school property. Starting tomorrow it will be considered trespassing, so it’s important that I make that statement to you.”

When asked how long suspensions may last, Davidson states the guidance from Loudoun County is that suspensions for unmasked students will end “as soon as they are fully following mitigation policies.”

Under Virginia Code, trespassing can be charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.

It is unclear whether any Loudoun County schools will actually pursue trespass charges against students.

Loudoun County Public School’s spokesperson Wayde Byard told the Daily Caller said students would be suspended for up to 10 days or “until they comply with the LCPS COVID-19 mitigation practices.” Byard said suspended students could continue to access their schoolwork through “Schoology.”

Byard said students who continue to refuse to mask after a 10-day suspension “will be recommended for further action.”

The warnings about students being considered trespassers come as parents have challenged the Loudoun County Schoo Board over its COVID-19 policies. On Wednesday, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares announced he would be joining lawsuits on the side of parents suing the school board.

“When the pandemic started, Governor [Ralph] Northam used his emergency powers to close down places of worship, private businesses, and schools and impose a universal mask mandate. Nearly two years later, Governor Youngkin is using those same emergency powers to adapt to our current phase in the same pandemic, by giving parents the ability to opt out of a school mask mandate,” Miyares said. “We have always expected this to be settled in the Courts and have complete faith in the legal process. In the meantime, we encourage parents to listen to their school principal until this is resolved in the courts.”