TEHACHAPI (CBSLA) — The Superintendent of the Tehachapi Unified School District announced she will close all of her schools beginning Friday, Feb. 25, as she calls for Gov. Gavin Newsom to allow parents to chose whether or not their child wears a mask in school.
“As an advocate for the students and parents of Tehachapi Unified School District, I urge you to immediately provide a pathway for parents to make a personal choice regarding facial masks in indoor school settings, based on what parents feel will best meet the needs of their children,” Superintendent Stacey Larson-Everson wrote in a letter to Newsom.
While California has lifted its mask mandate, no longer requiring both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to wear masks, the state has yet to lift its mask mandate for schools.
“The decision to close was made in consultation with Kern County Public Health and following engagement with public safety officials,” Larson-Everson wrote in a letter addressed to parents.
Larson-Everson also said in the letter that district employees are “stretched thin” as they try to provide a “safe learning environment” for their children. She also stated that the district has had difficulty enforcing the mask mandate.
There are currently about 4,900 students in TUSD between K through 12.
The closure will end on Monday, Feb. 28.
“Our circumstances will be reassessed on Monday, February 2022 following the anticipated announcement of changes by the California Department of Public Health related to the school mask mandate,” wrote Larson-Everson.