Abbie Platt, a Virginia mom and real estate agent, said her children were separated from other students at their Loudoun County school for showing up to class without masks — an experience she’s likening to segregation. 

Earlier this month, newly inaugurated Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin penned an executive order allowing parents to opt-out of masking requirements at all schools and daycare programs within the state.

In response, several Virginia school districts — not including Loudoun County — have filed suit against the Youngkin administration, challenging the executive order’s constitutionality. 

Last Monday, on the first day the governor’s new masking policy was to take effect, Loudoun County schools appeared to ignore the order. Local outlets reported that Loudoun students who showed up to school without masks were taken out of class and sent to libraries and auditoriums for the duration of the school day. 

On Sunday, administrators said students who don’t comply with the district’s masking mandate will be suspended until they “agree to follow COVID-mitigation measures throughout the entire school day.”

Abbie Platt Says Kids Without Masks ‘Segregated’

Platt, a mother of three and former Congressional staffer, said her kids were among the dozens of students to show up to Loudoun County schools without masks last week, only to find that their district was not following Gov. Youngkin’s new guidelines. 

Platt appeared on Fox and Friends Monday morning, invoking the racial segregation of the Jim Crow era to describe her children’s experience at Loudoun County schools over the last week. 

“My daughter is in eighth grade and she, along with about 20 other kids, have been segregated in the auditorium, and if they want to go to their locker, they are escorted by a sheriff,” she told co-host Brian Kilmeade. “They are segregated, they’re not allowed transportation and they’re not eating lunch with their peers who are eating maskless.”

Loudoun County mom Abbie Platt said her kids were 'segregated' from peers when they went to school without masks.
Loudoun County mom Abbie Platt said her kids were ‘segregated’ from peers when they went to school without masks. Photo credit: Instagram

She said her son is supposed to be medically exempt from wearing masks due to an asthma diagnosis, but claimed the district didn’t care.

“They had put a mask on him and told us they would not honor it,” she said. “So now he polices himself, and there’s a lot of anxiety that comes with [that]. The damage is done.”

Platt continued: “It’s surprising that they would go to such effort when the risk is certainly not there, and to be at a time where they’re segregating, discriminating, creating psychological warfare with children that have nothing to do with this conversation.”

As it happens, the risk is there: according to data published in the New York Times, Virginia reported almost 30,000 new Covid cases the day that Gov. Youngkin’s new mask policy went into effect. 

Infection rates have spiked in the Commonwealth with the proliferation of the Omicron variant and reported cases in December 2021 and January 2022 in Virginia are higher than they’ve been at any other point during the pandemic. 

Schools Challenge Youngkin on Masks

On Sunday, after a week of separating unmasked students into libraries and auditoriums, Loudoun County district administrators reportedly sent letters to parents threatening suspension for continued noncompliance with their masking policy. 

The district is apparently betting that Gov. Youngkin’s executive order will be overturned in court, though it’s not one of the seven Virginia school boards that are part of that effort. 

Gov. Glenn Youngkin's executive order said parents like Abbie Platt could opt-out of masks for their kids at school.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order said parents like Abbie Platt could opt-out of masks for their kids at school. Photo credit: Shutterstock

The school districts that filed the complaint last week — including Fairfax and Prince Williams counties, which border Loudoun — argue that Youngkin’s order is superseded by a state law, passed by the legislature, which binds Commonwealth schools to follow CDC guidelines. 

But for some Virginia parents like Platt, those school districts appear to be stymying the mandate that voters handed Youngkin in the election last November.

“There was a significant voter turnout, and that speaks to the fact that people were motivated to engage in the process,” Platt told WJLA last week. “People across the board said we are ready for something different and they expected to be heard. And here we are.”

Abbie Platt said Youngkin's election means Virginia voters don't want mandatory masks for students.
Abbie Platt said Youngkin’s election means Virginia voters don’t want mandatory masks for students. Photo credit: Instagram

The Loudoun County school board has been in national news for months, but Platt’s media presence is sudden and widespread. 

As a former Congressional staffer — she worked as a Republican aide to the U.S. Senate Rules Committee and helped organize President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, according to her website — it’s possible the real estate agent is eyeing a run for office.