California school lifts mask mandate after cops respond to 4-year-old being sent home
A California school district has lifted its policy requiring students to wear masks indoors after a 4-year-old student without a face covering was sent home on Thursday in a filmed incident that prompted a response from the police.
The encounter that preceded the policy reversal at the Mountain View Whisman School District was recorded on a cellphone by the boy’s father, who has since spoken out against the old directive.
A video posted to YouTube shows the maskless youngster jogging through Theuerkauf Elementary School in Mountainview when school principal Michelle Williams intervened.
« I welcome him here and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I want him here but it’s our district policy to have to wear a mask, » Williams told the boy’s father.
The clip later shows the boy being escorted out of his class by Williams with a piece of paper. He runs to his dad and innocently asks, « Dad, what is he saying? » video shows.
A police officer was also called to the school and spoke briefly with the father, the footage shows.
« I just think it’s time to move on, kids need to see faces, they need to see people smiling, they need to have a better view of the future in general « , the father, who only identified himself as Shawn, told ABC7. .
The father said he recorded the video to share with other parents.
His son, he said, has developmental issues and will not keep his mask on. As a result, he could not go to school.
“I watch my son. I wake him up every day to go to school, I get pushed back with tears in my eyes,” Shawn said. « He doesn’t know what’s going on, he’s visibly upset, visibly disheveled at being turned down and rejected. »
The father’s attorney, Tracy Henderson of the California Parents Union, said the school broke the law by sending the child home.
« The school’s authority in a situation of public health concerns, by law, is only to send a sick child home, » she told ABC7.
After Shawn shared the video, the school board made masks optional in schools at Thursday night’s board meeting.
« We are now in the middle tier, so from tomorrow we are now ‘mask optional’ for students, » Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph said, the outlet reported.
Rudolph noted that 50 students and 12 staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in the first five days of classes.
Masks will still be mandatory on buses, at large events and for visitors to schools, according to the outlet.