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!”
Video of the elementary school kids sitting in 24 degrees (that’s Fahrenheit, below freezing) at @waynewoodes today. This is Virginia, where kids don’t routinely wear down and wool. @Karen4Schools @FCPSSupt @fcpsnews pic.twitter.com/6scCWizHEy
— Fairfax County Parents Association (@FFXParentsAssoc) January 11, 2022
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, a 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.