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Debate Over Masks In Newport Beach Schools Continues

NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) -- The Newport Beach City Council and the Newport Beach school district cannot seem to agree on a consensus about what to do regarding whether masks should be required.

A group of mothers in Newport Beach is inviting their friends to voice support for a mask-optional policy, something that they call parental rights.

Some on the Newport Beach City Council, which has no power over what goes on in the local schools, want this option for the parents.

The group, Concerned Moms of Newport, is rallying supporters on social media for Tuesday's city council meeting in Newport Beach, where the issue of masks in schools is expected to draw a big crowd.

"There's been a lot of pushback about having kids come to school without masks," said parent Michelle Scherer. "I'm really concerned about that. I've seen my daughter who's been out of school for a year now and how the masks have affected her negatively.

Councilman Noah Blom introduced a resolution about giving parents a choice about whether their children should be masked or vaccinated at school, but the vote is purely symbolic.

"I think it's tough for students to read the faces of their peers, to learn how about how to interact with each other, read emotions. It's very important at that young age that they have those skills developed, and wearing a mask at all times has got to be tough for those children," said Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Muldoon.

The California Department of Public Health requires students to wear masks indoors. The city council has no power over school policies.

"Young people under 12 can't get vaccinated and so they must wear the masks at school. It's our only way to allow kids to stay in school together and to stop the spread," said Katrina Foley, Second District Supervisor.

Newport Mesa Unified told CBS Los Angeles the following:

"We are not authorized to make decisions on the use of face coverings in schools or create policies related to public health. We are hopeful that with the support of our community we can keep schools open and continue to provide a safe environment for students and staff."

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