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The California Supreme Court declined on Wednesday to hear the Orange County Board of Education’s petition seeking to overturn Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide mask mandate for K-12 students.

Earlier this month, the board voted 4-0 to pursue the legal challenge, saying they believed the mandate “compounds the harm to California’s children previously caused by prior school closures and unwarranted masking requirements.”

Public health experts have said that masks help decrease the spread of the coronavirus, but some parents have challenged masking in schools, saying it is harmful. The board does not have the authority to impose regulations over districts in the county.

“The Supreme Court rejecting this effort to stand in the way further reaffirms the state’s strategy” of relying on safety measures like universal masking to keep students safe at schools, said Alex Stack, the deputy communications director for Newsom’s office.

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