There is no place to hide. The truth about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s empirically dubious, increasingly unconscionable, and now unenforceable forced masking of our children has been revealed.

Cori Hayman

Cori Hayman

The case against universal masking in schools has been well-documented, as most recently reported in The Atlantic, finding the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for universal school masking to be “far reaching,” based on insufficient evidence to demonstrate that masks actually work.

The Atlantic further cautioned against the unknown cognitive and socio-emotional risks of widespread all-day masking of children in schools. We have known since nearly the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, moreover, that the vast majority of children are fortunately far less susceptible to severe COVID-19 than adults.

As The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week, we are just beginning to learn the science behind the pediatric innate immune response to COVID-19, along with T cell and B cell memory.

Yet, despite the significant costs and unknown risks of mandated universal school masking, with questionable benefit, Newsom refuses to relent.

As of this writing, according to Reopen California Schools, a powerful grassroots parent organization, more than 20 schools or school districts in California have made the bold decision to defy Newsom’s mandate and implement mask choice policies, finally gaining the political courage to announce that the law does not allow a school to exclude or otherwise suspend students for not wearing a mask.

When certain news media outlets claimed that these schools would lose insurance coverage, those same schools called their bluff, confirming that they won’t lose coverage.

Parents’ voices are finally being heard, and masks are coming off of California’s schoolchildren thanks to the tireless grassroots movement of Let Them Breathe & Let Them Choose, Reopen California Schools, See My Smile, and all of the warrior parents.

I ask our Santa Barbara County school boards: Are you with us as leaders? Or, are you stuck in a state of political fear and resigned to follow our elitist governor who seems to care more about his pretty smile at an NFL football game (and the teachers’ unions) than our children’s smiles in the classroom?

Schools and Districts with Mask Choice, To Date

» Alpine Union School District, Alpine

» Amador County Unified School District, Jackson

» Black Oak Mine Unified School District, Georgetown

» Buckeye Union Unified School Disrict, El Dorado Hills

» Clovis Unified School Disrict, Clovis

» Conejo Valley Unified School District, Newbury Park

» East Nicolaus High School, Nicolaus

» El Dorado Union High School District, Placerville

» Eureka Union School District, Granite Bay

» Golden Valley Unified School District, Madera

» Gold Trail Union School District, Placerville

» Immanuel Schools, Reedley

» John Adams Academy, Roseville

» Latrobe School District, Shingle Springs

» Los Alamitos Unified School District, Los Alamitos

» Nevada Joint Union High School District, Grass Valley

» Paso Robles Joint Unified School District, Paso Robles

» Placerville Union School District, Placerville

» Pleasant Ridge Union School District, Grass Valley

» Rancho Santa Fe School District, Rancho Santa Fe

» Rescue Union School District, Rescue

» Rocklin Unified School District, Rocklin

» Roseville Joint Union High School District, Roseville

» San José Unified School District, San José

» Santa Fe Christian Schools, Solana Beach

» Sierra Unified School District, Prather

» Wheatland School District, Wheatland

» Woodland Joint Unified School District, Woodland

Reopen California Schools Facebook Group

— Montecito resident Cori Hayman is an attorney, community advocate and mother. She currently serves as an elected director of the Montecito Water District. The opinions expressed are her own.