After several people spoke out against masks during Wednesday’s Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Jill Baker said schools will continue to follow the state and city’s mask mandates, but they expect to hear about potential changes by the end of the month.

Some parents and students have agitated against masks in Long Beach, including a protest outside Wilson High School, but the issue has jumped into the spotlight again this week regionally after Inglewood played host to the Super Bowl, a large event that mask opponents cite as evidence that things are safe enough for more restrictions to be lifted.

Parents and a teacher spoke at last night’s board meeting, with one parent arguing that mask-wearing is stunting children’s developmental growth, and one LBUSD teacher saying that she has trouble breathing while teaching with a mask on.

The board and district do not typically address public comments, but Baker responded to the community members in her remarks at the end of the meeting. Baker said that more information will be coming on masks in the next few weeks.

“We heard community input and questions about the wearing of masks,” she said. “We know that recently there was an announcement that the requirements across the state of California are changing. I just want to affirm that the LBUSD is still implementing the Long Beach health orders that require masking indoors. That isn’t a choice; that is the health order that we are responsible for implementing.”

Long Beach says it will ease its mask rules when the city falls into the CDC’s “moderate” transmission category and remains there for two weeks, so any changes locally are still weeks away.

However, before the city’s health department lets students take off their masks, the state must also lift its requirements. California health officials are expected to provide more details on their plans for that process at the end of the month.

“By February 28th we expect more review and additional information coming about changing requirements,” Baker said. “As soon as that happens, if it results in changes to masking or any of our other requirements in K-12 schools we will provide that information to the community as quickly as we can get it out.”

Here’s what Long Beach says must happen before relaxing its mask mandate