California Public Schools will again Require Masks on all Students for 2021-22 School Year
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Friday, July 10, 2021 that California public school students will be required to wear masks again this upcoming school year regardless of whether the student is vaccinated in order for all students and staff to be treated “equally” inside classrooms. This comes as a surprise given that the recent CDC guidelines are less strict. California Health & Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly suggests that, "Masking is a simple and effective intervention that does not interfere with offering full in-person instruction.” I beg to differ with Dr. Ghaly. I can tell you that masking and social distancing had a severely detrimental impact on our students. Never in my 30 years inside California classrooms have I seen anything like the apathy and lack of interaction between students as what I witnessed with my classes last year. It seemed like most of my students didn’t remember what engaging with others was like, and even if they did remember, they no longer were interested in social interactions. Academically, the impact of masking and distancing interferes with students' hearing and understanding their teachers and each other as well as the development of language skills. Muffled speech and the inability to see movements of the speaker's mouth create a roadblock to student growth.
Even if a child or staff member has recovered from the virus and carries antibodies, or has been vaccinated, “everyone” needs to wear a mask so that “everyone” is treated equally. Bottom line, if your child returns to public school in the fall, they will need to wear a mask and continue social distancing.