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PBVUSD, Rosedale Union will hear from parents opposed to mask mandates this week

20210325-bc-juniorhigh (copy)

In a file photo, Thompson Junior High student Aiden Struwe works on a science experiment in Mrs. Wendy Davidson's class.

This week at least two school boards in Kern County will hear from parents and community members who are opposed to a state mandate that requires universal masking inside K-12 schools.

Tuesday, both Panama-Buena Vista Union School District and Rosedale Union have resolutions placed on their agenda by the public from the statewide advocacy organization “Let Them Breathe,” which is suing California and Gov. Gavin Newsom over its school mask requirement. The resolution asks Sacramento to return decisions about masking to local school districts.

The PBVUSD agenda item titled “Mask Choice Resolution” goes beyond COVID-19 protocols in schools and masking. It’s about who gets to make the decisions in local school districts.

“Haley Sloyan and Alex Gilliam make a public request for the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District to forge a working relationship with the Board members to establish and accomplish a shared goal of returning local control back to the school districts,” the agenda item reads.

On July 12, the California Department of Public Health released guidance mandating that school districts require masking indoors. Local group Kids First Kern has been active in fighting back against the mask mandate, but also in promoting local control on issues.

Members of Kids First Kern, including co-president Sharon Boren, spoke at Kern High School District’s meeting last week. The board declined to ratify the resolution brought to the board.