COVID health signs removed, replaced with anti-mask messages at North County schools

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ENCINITAS, Calif. — School administrators and parents are reacting after COVID-19 health signs were removed from North County campuses and replaced with anti-mask messages.

Administrators from the San Dieguito Union High School District say three women walked onto two campuses during class hours Friday, removed health signs mandated by state public health officials and replaced them with anti-mask signs.

School officials say the act disrupted their focus on students, forcing them to call police and report the incident.

“There were three adult females that decided that they would spend their day ripping down school signs and, in this case, ripped down this sign that is mandated by law,” said Lucile lynch, interim superintendent for the San Dieguito Union High School District.

Lynch says the unknown women were taking down state-mandated COVID-19 health signs and posting their own signs.  

“At San Dieguito they posted things that basically said that masking is child abuse and that as mandated reporters, we should be basically reporting ourselves,” she said.  

The Carlsbad Police Department is attempting to identify the three women for potential vandalism charges, tampering with La Costa Canyon High School and San Dieguito Academy.  

“There has been a recent turn of events with these TikToks encouraging vandalism at our school sites,” Lynch said. “We shouldn’t tolerate it from our students and we shouldn’t tolerate it from adults on our sites, either.”

Parents have been reacting to Friday’s incident.

“Pretty messed up that these parents are taking these things into their own hands, it’s criminal, personally,” one parent said. “It is vandalism.”

Other parents said it seemed “pretty minor” and that they have a right to express their opinions.

“Everyone affiliated with this school is working their tails off to make sure our students have the best experience ever and it’s really disgusting,” another parent said.

The director of the “Let Them Breathe” movement, an organization which is against masks in schools, says her group has nothing to do with the signs being swapped out.

Superintendent Lynch says educators are doing the very best they can under difficult circumstances.

“My message, if I can, just really to stress the battle is at the state level and we are complying with state law and mandates to make sure we can keep our staff healthy and our students in school,” she said.

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