24 LA School Superintendents Demand Health Director Ferrer Ease Her COVID Mandates

Screenshot via YouTube/Los Angeles County Public Health)

The superintendents of 24 Los Angeles County school districts (there are over 70 in the county) signed on to a letter demanding that Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer ease her onerous COVID mask policies and bring them into line with California’s state guidelines. Ferrer has notoriously presided over one of the strictest pandemic regimes in the country, and as recently as last month was angling to require forced masking in schools this fall. She only backed off after public outcry and the exposure of numerous scandals within the department.


The County Department of Public Health (LADPH) oversees a population of over 10 million people, so Ferrer’s decisions carry great weight. Although the unelected bureaucrat ultimately did not require a new mandate, she left herself a little back alley to keep as many children masked as possible: a 10-day indoor masking mandate for anyone who is notified that they’ve been a close contact of someone who tests positive. By “close” she means “has been in the same indoor space for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour span.”

So, if one kindergartener tests positive (using an oh-so-reliable home test), the whole class has to mask up for 10 days because they were “close contacts.” Naturally, this has led to a lot more masked kids than we’d hoped for—especially since we are in the midst of a wicked heat wave. Julie Hamill, a school board candidate and the lawyer suing for the end of LA mask mandates, shared the good news on Twitter:

These superintendents are sick of being the mask police, and let Ferrer and her supposed bosses, the five members of the Board of Supervisors, know. They wrote (all bolding mine):


As Covid enters the endemic phase, schools and districts in Los Angeles County must operate under health and safety guidance that is in alignment with the State of California. Over the past year the LA DPH has consistently stated that their covid policies would be in full alignment with the State.

Unfortunately, the current LA DPH health order for school districts regarding indoor masking is not in alignment with the State and is more restrictive than the State.

They go on to compare the specifics of how state guidance is less restrictive than the county’s, and they supply exhibits and links to back that up. At the conclusion, they make their intentions clear:

We, the following school superintendents of Los Angeles County, formally request that LA DPH aligns with the State of California on their policy of 10-Day Indoor Masking of Close Contacts.

The language might not be that dramatic, but it’s nevertheless a very public humiliation for Ferrer. It’s not a good look to have a third of the county’s superintendents openly questioning your leadership. Ferrer deserves the repudiation, especially after over 500 parents (full disclosure—one of them was my wife) took the time to make public comments about her absurd rule, and she reacted with disdain.


Even committed Covidians are now admitting that kids have suffered the most from pandemic restrictions, and want Ferrer and the LADPH to return to grading restaurant bathrooms. Until then, she can feel free to continue to test pets for COVID.


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