Small School Districts Say They'll Ignore Mask Mandate

Smaller school districts in more conservative areas of the state will buck the state mandate for face coverings in schools this fall, CalMatters reports.

As CalSchoolNews reported last week, it’s a mandate with no teeth. The California Department of Public Health initially said students who refused to wear masks would have to be sent home. The state almost immediately reversed course, saying enforcement would be left up to districts.

Alex Stack, a spokesperson for Gov. Gavin Newsom, has clarified that county health agencies will be responsible for ensuring the mask mandate is enforced in schools. Whether there will be any kind of state penalty is unclear.

The superintendents of Cold Spring Elementary in Santa Barbara County and Le Grand Union Elementary in Merced County both told CalMatters they will not enforce masks. Tim Taylor, executive director of the Small School Districts Association, expects the same from many of his members.

“These districts were in class all year, and they just don’t believe masks are needed to teach children,” he said.

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