East Bay District to Decide on Making Masks Optional for Students Immediately

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An East Bay school district on Monday will decide whether to defy the state's timeline for student masking in schools and make masks optional immediately.

The board of trustees at Liberty Union High School District in Brentwood is expected to take up the issue at 7 p.m. It appears there is already a lot of support for taking masks off right away.

"Tired of wearing the mask," Liberty High School senior Matthew Gozo said. "My teachers tell me every day to put it on."

Across the Bay Area, superintendents like Dr. Adam Clark of the Mount Diablo Unified School District tuned in Monday to watch the state’s masking update and decipher the state’s guidance for families.

"It was crystal clear that the masking mandate for students will be going away at 11:59 p.m. on March 11," Clark said.

In an email to parents, Clark said he will ask the board at its upcoming meeting to make face masks optional for students. Clark said he’s waiting on guidance from CAL OSHA to decide if teachers and school staff can take off their masks, too.

"Some of them probably have kids at home, younger kids, and they probably just want to keep them safe, which I understand," Gozo said.

The president of the California Teachers Association said, "Reaction to today’s announcement will be mixed. Simply put, while some students are ready to immediately remove their masks, others remain very afraid."

It wasn't immediately clear if school districts that stop enforcing the student masking mandate will face any consequences for not waiting two more weeks.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said he believes most districts will follow the state’s guidance.

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