Two parent advocacy organizations are suing California Gov. Gavin Newsom over the statewide mandate that children should wear masks to school regardless of their vaccination status.
The groups Let Them Breathe and Reopen California Schools announced on July 22 that they have filed a lawsuit against Newsom and the state’s top health officials over the mask mandate in public schools.
The lawsuit says that the statewide mandate requiring schoolchildren to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status will harm the “mental and physical health” of children, particularly after a year of isolation and distance learning.
It names Newsom, Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly, Public Health Director Tomás Aragón of the Department of Public Health, and Dr. Naomi Bardach of Safe Schools for All as defendants.
“It’s clear that [the health the department] has chosen to ignore the overwhelming evidence that show children are at a very low risk from being infected with COVID-19, transmitting it to others, or becoming seriously ill from COVID-19,” Reopen California Schools founder Jonathan Zachreson of Roseville said in a statement to The Sacramento Bee.
“A return to a normal school year is crucial to the mental and physical health recovery for students across California who have endured months of isolation and a majority of who spent last school year entirely in distance learning.”
Earlier this month, the Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued guidance requiring that K-12 California schools mandate mask wearing for students.
That was in contrast to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which on July 9 issued guidance stating that vaccinated students could remain unmasked during in-person classes.
The groups’ lawsuit calls the state mandate arbitrary, not based on scientific evidence, and harmful to students, according to The Sacramento Bee.
“CDPH states that despite CDC recommendations, they will require masks for all students in order to treat them the same,” Let Them Breathe founder Sharon McKeeman said in a statement. “Of course it’s true that all children deserve equity and should not be singled out based on vaccination status. However, this should be accomplished by allowing all children to unmask and share their smiles.
Their lawsuit comes as California experiences a spike in new COVID-19 infections, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Just over a month ago, the state removed most of its virus safety restrictions and currently, people can take off their masks when outdoors.
But hospitalization numbers have increased by 58 percent since relaxing restrictions, according to New York Times data, prompting some counties to reinstate mask mandates and push for more vaccinations.
Experts blame the highly contagious Delta variant for a new increase in cases.
The delta variant makes up 83 percent of sequenced samples in the United States, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle W...