Fairfax County Elementary Students Take ‘Mask Break’ Outside in Below Freezing Temps

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Elementary school students in Fairfax County, Va., were forced to sit outside on cold concrete in the 24 degree weather on Tuesday as a reprieve from mask-wearing.

Photo and video obtained by the Fairfax County Parents Association purports to show a group of Waynewood Elementary students bundled up and enduring the below-freezing temperatures while being read to. 

FCPA told National Review the footage was taken by a concerned Waynewood parent who came upon the scene.

“It’s well below freezing in Fairfax County, yet young children are having story time on the cold concrete outside at @waynewoodes,” FCPA tweeted. “This is the result of poor leadership and confusing guidance to teachers. Get these little ones inside!”

A spokesperson for Fairfax County Public Schools told National Review the students were taken outside for a “snack and mask break” in front of the school.

“This morning on Twitter, an anonymous parent group posted a video that was taken outside of Waynewood Elementary School in Alexandria. In the video, a group of third grade students are taking a snack and mask break in front of the school,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “The weather conditions were monitored, and the students were outside for less than seven minutes. The teacher was reading a story to keep the students entertained. Students do go outside for mask and snack breaks in cold weather, but that time is limited.”

Many schools have used outdoor learning as a way to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, despite reassurances by health officials that the virus poses minimal risk to children.

Last week, Chicago alderman Brian Hopkins suggested students in the city should eat lunch outdoors as a Covid-19 mitigation measure, despite Chicago’s dangerously low temperatures.

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