A teacher adjusts a mask on a student at Lafayette Elementary School in Clairemont last year. Photo by Chris Stone

A San Diego Superior Court judge Friday dismissed a lawsuit that challenged Gov. Gavin Newsom’s mask mandate in state schools.

The lawsuit, filed by the Carlsbad group Let Them Breathe, sought to overturn mandated masking at schools, as well as other state guidance related to quarantines and COVID-19 testing on campuses.

In her ruling, Judge Cynthia Freeland wrote that state officials have “a legitimate interest in protecting health and safety by mandating public measures, which measures can include masks.”

In its suit, Let Them Breathe argued that masks are ineffective against COVID-19, while also alleging that mask use in schools has harmful psychological ramifications for students.

In a Vista courtroom earlier this week, the group’s attorney Lee Andelin also argued that increased vaccination numbers and a buildup of natural immunity among the general public meant conditions no longer warranted Newsom’s continued COVID-19 state of emergency, nor any orders stemming from it.

Freeland wrote that “plaintiffs’ disagreement with the level of efficacy of masks and the current state of the pandemic as it affects children does not render the defendants’ proffered reason for the mask mandate arbitrary or irrational…”

She also said she was not in a position to second-guess Newsom, the Legislature, or medical experts regarding whether the state of emergency was no longer needed.

Let Them Choose, an offshoot of Let Them Breathe, also sued the San Diego Unified School District this year to block the district’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for staff and students over the age of 16. That case remains pending.

– City News Service

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