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California Raids Preschools Over Mask Compliance

(by Will Huntsberry | Voice of San Diego) – Stephanie and Richard Rosado recently told their 4-year-old son about the importance of not talking to strangers. Only days later, state regulators came to the child’s preschool, isolated him in a room away from his teachers and friends and asked him questions about masking.

His parents, and many others at the preschool, were furious.

Regulators questioned the Rosados’ son as part of an investigation into masking practices at Aspen Leaf Preschool, which operates three locations in San Diego. All three locations were simultaneously “raided,” as some parents have called it, in mid-January. Regulators separated the children and toddlers from familiar adults at each of the centers to ask questions about the preschools’ masking policies.

What’s strange about that decision, parents and teachers say, is that Aspen Leaf officials had already been open with parents and regulators about their decision to not mask children.

Regulators isolated and interviewed children aged one to four, a step many parents say was inappropriate and unnecessary.

“This gross abuse of power is shameful and unacceptable for many reasons,” wrote the Rosados in a complaint. “The people who ordered this to be done and those who participated should be held responsible.”

The California Department of Social Services and its child care licensing program oversee regulatory compliance in preschools. Child care licensing investigators do have the authority to interview children in isolated settings, but many Aspen Leaf parents said they believed such tactics were meant to be used in extreme cases, like alleged child abuse. Read Full Article >

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