Groups sue Newsom, CDPH over school mask mandates

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Two California groups are suing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office and the California Department of Public Health, claiming the protocols set to reopen schools do not help students but harm them in the long run.

“Our kids have suffered for over a year and it’s time we put them at the forefront and give them some normalcy that they deserve,” said Jonathan Zachreson, the founder of Reopen California Schools.

2020 was a year filled with disappointment as the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to close down nationwide. Now, a year later, schools have reopened but it’s not the same as it was pre-pandemic.

That’s been a problem for Zachreson.

“The state has not considered the harms that these provisions have and really hasn’t cited using good data to make their decisions,” Zachreson explained.

That’s why his group and another group, Let Them Breathe, are suing the California Department of Public Health and the governor’s office and demanding they do away with the strict health mandates for in-person learning.

The two groups say they disagree with the state’s decision to quarantine healthy kids, continuously test asymptomatic students, and mandatory masks.

“The state mandated this because it’s easier to do this, not necessarily because of the scientific or data approach,” Zachreson told FOX40. “To say or to act like the masks and some of the other protocols do no harm, that’s simply not true. They do harm and they impede education.”

But for Shannon Hobbs and her 8-year old daughter, anything to get kids back into school physically was worth it.

“Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. I just kind of go with what I think’s best for my child,” Hobbs said.

As a Sacramento City Unified School District parent, Hobbs believes these protocols within schools are the best for her family right now since the vaccine is not an option for her young daughter at this time.

“Since she isn’t eligible right now, we would like to just do our best with what we can do to help mitigate the risks,” Hobbs told FOX40.

A CDPH spokesperson told FOX40 they don’t comment on pending lawsuits but added these guidelines and the CDC’s recommendations ensure kids and staff are protected while on campus.

The governor’s office did not respond to our request for comment.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Big Game Countdown
February 13 2022 12:00 am

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com