Are the lies of Kids First Kern intentional or are they innocent misstatements due to emotions over intelligence? The group that seeks to push back against required mask wearing by students in Kern County stated through Sharon Boren’s presentation to the Kern High School District board that “students deserve a school year free from unscientific and punitive restrictions.”

That statement is totally and blatantly false. Recent scientific articles written by the top scientists in the field of epidemiology, in “patient care” from UCSF, the Journal Nature, or the Mayo Clinic all document this clear truth. Mask wearing reduces the spread of virus like COVID-19; science says so. Secondly, in order for a policy to be punitive, it must have intent to punish. Nobody wants to punish children in schools; conversely they want to take every measure possible to keep children safe. So do I. Let’s hope the school boards share my science-based approach and not an emotional moment of ignorance.

— Edward Paine, Bakersfield