Petitions call for repeal of mask mandates at local schools

Posted at 5:05 PM, Feb 17, 2022

As California’s mask requirements are easing, masks will stay on in local schools, at least for now.

The state ended its indoor mask mandate on Wednesday but local schools are not yet ditching the masks.

This week, some local students protested the mask mandate.

“No one is wearing masks anymore but yet when we come to school, we are still wearing masks, and to be honest, I think we're all kind of frustrated,” said Cameron Clayton, Paso Robles High School student.

Parents also addressed their concerns to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors.

"I worked the Super Bowl as a firefighter paramedic and witnessed 70,000 people with almost no masks and I'm trying to figure out why my children are still wearing masks,” said Aaron Salmon, a San Luis Obispo County resident. “I think it's ridiculous that I have to put a mask on a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old just to attend school."

A big point of contention among many was Sunday’s big game without masking or social distancing.

“Yet school children in our county are forced to wear a mask over their nose and mouth for hours at a time, weeks and months without end,” said Nicole Dorfman of Morro Bay. “As our elected representatives, I urge you to stand up and say enough is enough.”

We reached out to the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education and we’re told that the indoor mask requirement from K through 12th grade students comes from the California Department of Public Health.

County Superintendent of Schools James Brescia also told KSBY in an emailed statement, "Our local public health officer, my office, and local school boards are not at liberty to make a less restrictive local order. I anticipate we will have a change within the next few weeks."

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said that the state has set a date to reassess that requirement.

“On February 28, we anticipate being able to share what the next period of time will look like and some specificity, give a date when the masking requirement will move to a recommendation,” Dr. Ghaly said during a press conference on Monday.

But others argue that a growing list of California schools has already dropped the mandate.

Those include:

  • Roseville Joint Union High School District
  • Soulsbyville Elementary School
  • El Dorado Union High School District will encourage but not enforce masks

Meanwhile, a couple of petitions are now circulating to get it dropped in San Luis Obispo County as well.

Dr. Ghaly says the next two weeks will be spent interpreting trends and it’s not a question of if the mask mandate will be dropped, but when.