San Diego Unified School District officially backs off plans for indoor mask mandate
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – One month ago, San Diego Unified School District Board President, Dr. Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, made national headlines for telling her students not to come back to school if they are uncomfortable wearing a mask.
Her comments were shocking as her job is to encourage students to attend school and provide them with their right to an education.
Whitehurst-Payne’s comments were not unexpected, but just the latest of her ongoing defense of the unpopular mask mandates, as she repeatedly appeared on KUSI News in the weeks prior to justify masking young, healthy students despite them having no risk to the coronavirus.
Whitehurst-Payne has not appeared on KUSI News since her July 18 interview, but we have extended the invitation multiple times.
During that interview, Whitehurst-Payne explained the district was going to enforce mask mandates for the last two weeks of summer school, and then reconsider them ahead of the Fall semester.
Monday evening, the San Diego Unified School District sent an email to parents announcing their decision to not enforce the mask mandate for the 2022-23 school year. The announcement came after enormous backlash to the summer school mask mandate, that was critiqued across national news shows for days.
Sharon McKeeman, the founder of Let Them Breathe, touted the announcement as justification for her group’s efforts fighting back against San Diego Unified’s coronavirus regulations.
McKeeman joined KUSI’s Elizabeth Alvarez on Good Morning San Diego to share her excitement and reaction she has been receiving from other parents.
KUSI News reached out to Whitehurst-Payne and SDUSD’s Richard Barrera, but both said they are traveling and unable to appear.