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Roseville Joint Union High School District Makes Masks Optional For Students

ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — Roseville Joint Union High School District has made student masks optional, going against California guidelines.

The resolution, which is the first among districts in the region, comes on the heels of anti-masking protests across the region. When we asked the district what part of the state guidelines give them the authority to move masking from mandatory to optional, they sent us a statement from Board President Scott Huber, reading, in part:

"We are taking the initiative to allow students and families to decide which option is best for them."

Jonathan Zachreson has three kids in the district. He says the resolution is a risk.

"This vote isn't just about kids in this district but about kids across the state," he said, and later added,"I think it's still a legal question whether or not the state can compel their entities to enforce student mask."

He says this policy will force the issue. Either the state will step in and force the courts to define the guidelines, the resolution will go unchallenged allowing districts to make their own  masking decisions or Gov. Gavin Newsom will update the guidelines in line with the district's new policy.

"I'm just asking that you give the kids a choice," said parent Michelle Peterson.

Peterson says she's ready for any backlash.

"We are willing to take on the state," she said.

We asked area districts if they plan to follow Roseville's lead and make masks optional. San Juan Unified, Placer Union High School, Western Placer Unified, Elk Grove Unified and Oakdale all say they'll await the governor's updated guidance expected next week.

Placer Union said in a statement:

"The Placer Union High School District has advocated for local control and choice for masking and vaccinations, while also complying with and enforcing mandates required by the state. Our overarching goal is to keep schools open and students learning in person safely, as well as being able to participate in extracurricular activities which support their social and emotional wellbeing. We will continue to monitor the situation and look forward to hearing the governor's announcement on Monday."

San Juan said in a statement:

"San Juan unified will continue to follow state and local requirements related to face coverings on school campuses. Updated guidance specific to K-12 schools is anticipated from state and local health officials in the coming weeks. We will review new guidance once available and work to notify families of any changes and implement them promptly."

Rocklin Unified, Sacramento City and Buckeye Union Elementary did not reply.

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