Mask Mandate for LA School Children Lifted (For Outdoors Only!)

February 24, 2022

by Jim Breslo

The Los Angeles Unified School District recently announced it was lifting its mandate that all children wear masks at school. Just when I thought some sanity had returned to the city of Angels, I learned that the lifting pertains to outside only. I did not even know such a mandate existed for outdoors.

But, yes, it turns out that L.A. schoolchildren have been forced to wear masks at all times, during class, at lunch, and even while outdoors during recess and sports. And these mandates are strictly enforced, contrasting with the enforcement we saw at the Super Bowl, where a mask mandate was also in effect.

Hardly anyone among the mostly adult crowd was wearing one. This included celebrities like LeBron James, Jay-Z, Matt Damon, Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Ross, Antonio Brown, Kanye West, Drake, Justin Bieber, Kendall Jenner, Kevin Hart, and Charlize Theron. Many of them are A-list stars who like to tell others about the importance of vaccines, masks, and equity. Yet even for them, wearing a mask for three hours was too much of a burden.

Even Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was unable to keep a mask on despite having been shamed just two weeks earlier for not wearing a mask despite supporting mandates. (He infamously defended the decision at that time by asserting he did so only for a picture and held his breath. At the Super Bowl he was pictured unmasked without posing for a picture.)

If they are all unable to keep a mask on, how can we expect our children to do so?

Three days after the Super Bowl, the state ended its mask mandate. And in Los Angeles County, masks will become optional on Feb. 25 at indoor locations that require vaccination to enter. Those who are unvaccinated (or partially vaccinated) will still be required to wear a mask.

Los Angeles County has put a lone, unelected health official in charge of all mandates, including past lockdowns Her name is Dr. Barbara Ferrer.  According to her biography, she is a philanthropic strategist, educational leader and community advocate.  She works “to improve population outcomes through efforts that build health and education equity.”  She served as the chief strategy officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, focusing on things like, “Family Economic Security,” “Racial Equity,” and “Community Engagement.”  She has a Ph.D. in social welfare from Brandeis University, and a Bachelor of Arts in community studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  She states that the L.A. County Department of Public Health is “committed to reducing health disparities.”

These may be excellent credentials to teach at a liberal university, but they might not be so good at balancing economics and personal freedom with the health benefits of mandates and lockdowns for ten million people. She says she will fully lift the mandate when the county has two straight weeks at or below a “moderate” rate of 50 new cases per 100,000 people. That means masking millions of people until less than half of one percent of people have COVID. Almost two years after she put the first mandates in place, purportedly to avoid overwhelming our hospitals, she is still mandating masks irrespective of hospitalizations or deaths.

Layered on top of this is the Los Angeles city vaccine mandate for all indoor retail locations. There is no word when that will be lifted, but at least it was put in place by elected leaders, the city council and mayor (albeit a mayor who himself refuses to comply with mandates.)

And then you still have the L.A. Unified School District’s indoor mask mandate for schoolchildren. This will not be lifted until the teachers’ union says so. It is the union that pressured the district to put the mandates in place, and that kept children from returning to school last year.

While healthcare workers, grocery store cashiers, flight attendants, and, yes, truckers, went to work and became our “front line” heroes, teachers refused to go to go back to work, resulting in what was essentially a lost year for 600,000 students. Sorry, teachers, thanks to your union, at least in L.A., the word “hero” no longer applies to you.

Meanwhile, 70,000 people stood up maskless to watch Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. It is time for teachers, and all adults, to stand up and demand the end to masking our children.

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