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SAN FRANCISCO (LifeSiteNews) – Public schools in San Francisco are to keep forcing children to wear face masks in schools despite plans to drop the statewide requirement in California later this month.

San Francisco Public Schools (SFUSD) Deputy Superintendent Gentle Blythe said Monday that “[u]niversal indoor masking will continue to be in effect at SFUSD as part of our layered approach to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our schools,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

California, Oregon, and Washington will all remove mandates for children to wear face coverings in schools this month, leaving the decision to maintain the rule in the hands of school district administrators.

In a joint statement, the three state governors said that “[w]ith declining case rates and hospitalizations across the West, California, Oregon and Washington are moving together to update their masking guidance,” affecting around 7.5 million school-age children.

After the announcement, the San Francisco Department of Public Health said Monday that it would also drop its face mask mandate in light of the state guidelines.

However, San Francisco schoolchildren will not be permitted to leave the masks behind yet, drawing the criticism of parents within the region.

“It is disappointing to hear that in a county with some of the lowest [COVID infection] rates in the country and some of the highest vaccination rates, we cannot lift the mask mandate for our kids,” local parent Cindy Burg said.

“We’ve been masking religiously since the moment it was required. Now it’s time to give people a choice,” she added.

A statement from SFUSD claimed that, according to “Health officials … masking is one of the least burdensome policies on schools and is effective at curbing transmission.”

However, using face masks as a counter measure to the spread of COVID-19 has been roundly discredited, with some 47 studies confirming their uselessness against halting transmission of the virus and a further 32 showing negative health effects arising from their regular usage by the summer of 2021.

Not only is there extensive scientific evidence debunking the claim that face masks have any significant benefit against COVID, but there is no evidence to the contrary.

The executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program stated in 2020 that “There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any particular benefit,” and a study in France noted that there was no “trend in the results suggesting effectiveness of face masks” against viral pathogens.

Allowing individuals to go about their business unimpeded by mask mandates while restricting children – who are statistically the least vulnerable age group to suffer adverse effects from a COVID infection – to wear the coverings in schools “defies logic,” said Dr. Jeanne Noble, director of COVID response at the University of California San Francisco Emergency Department.

Continuing the mask mandate while the state lifts the requirement is not based on science but on pressures from the teachers union and fear-driven politics, Noble added.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed pleaded with SFUSD leaders to follow state and local guidance by removing their mask mandate.

Breed said she expressed her “strong desires to see the masks removed in schools” in a meeting with the school district superintendent on Monday.

“He has to work with the union,” she said. “It isn’t going to be easy, but I am hoping we can come to a compromise.”