Los Angeles Unified School District will soon force students to wear non-cloth masks with a nose wire, even while they are outside or playing sports. It also is scheduled to add a vaccination requirement for all students, which will go into effect at the start of 2023.
The school system’s mask policy declares that “masking will be required at all times, indoors and outdoors. It is required that all students wear well-fitting, non-cloth masks with a nose wire.” Staff will have to wear surgical grade masks.
The policy has no exceptions—and ignores the fact that masks have proven to be disruptive to various educational, social, and physical activities. The Centers for Disease Control has conceded that masks can make it harder for kids to learn how to read.
Pupils sometimes find it hard to exercise and play sports while wearing masks. It is very burdensome to force students to wear masks during those activities, especially given that outside the schools, there is no expectation that members of the community will wear masks during outdoor activities, even in cities with more stringent than normal COVID-mitigation regulations. Students are almost alone in being subjected to constant masking.
Even teachers’ union leader Randi Weingarten, who supports forcing children to wear masks, knows it can be hard to understand what a person wearing a mask is saying, which is why she took off her mask when trying to be heard a conference last year.
Lenore Skenazy has written about the harms of coronavirus-mitigation restrictions to students; for example, a seventh grade teacher she interviewed described how masks inhibited communication by students.
The Los Angeles schools are plan to impose a vaccine mandate starting on January 1, 2023. A bill by California State Senator Richard Pan (D) would require all California students to be vaccinated. His bill also eliminates “personal belief” exemptions. But as journalist Robby Soave notes, “Young people, however, are already by and large safe from the worst effects of COVID-19: severe disease and death. Getting vaccinated is the right choice for many students, but other families might have reasonable concerns in some cases.”