California parents want Newsom's 'hypocrisy' out, fear more restrictions if Democrat survives recall


California parents – at least one of whom voted for Gov. Gavin Newsom – loudly support the recall effort against the Democrat due to his restrictive COVID-19 policies on schools. They fear that should Newsom survive the recall Tuesday, he will impose even stricter policies, subjecting children to prolonged and unnecessary suffering.

"I want my kids to have a normal life," Suverna, a stay-at-home mother of two in Los Angeles County, told Fox News on Monday. "It's ridiculous, all these restrictions. The burden all fell on the shoulders of these young kids."

Jonathan Zachreson, founder of Reopen California Schools and a father of three who lives in Placer County, explained the evidence that shutting down schools has had a devastating impact on children.

"Child obesity is up, depression is up, kids are incredibly behind on math and reading, well behind 2019 levels," Zachreson told Fox News in an interview Monday.

"Kids need to be in school, that's just a simple fact," Daniel Bryant, a father in Sonoma County, told Fox News. "I am absolutely pro-recall," he added, calling Newsom's behavior on schools "the ultimate hypocrisy."

"My perspective is that the blame lays almost squarely with Newsom," Scott Davison, a father of one and co-director of the Parent Association in Carlsbad who helped with the lawsuit that opened California schools in March 2021, told Fox News. "At any point, he could have ordered the schools to reopen, just like he ordered them closed at the beginning of last fall."

Suverna described "multiple times" when it seemed schools would reopen, only to shut down once more.

Schools originally closed in March 2020 and did not reopen for the remainder of the school year. In the summer of 2020, Newsom promised that he would allow local control, but when some schools planned to open, the governor added schools to a color-coded tier chart that effectively kept them closed, Zachreson recalled. Several schools chose not to reopen, and Newsom allowed that. In January 2021, the governor again changed the rules, making it harder for schools to remain open.

Finally, in March 2021, a judge issued a temporary restraining order that forced Newsom to drop many of his reopening rules. Even now, schools maintain various restrictive policies, including mandatory face masks, routine COVID-19 testing and mandatory quarantines.

Meanwhile, Newsom – already infamous for dining maskless at The French Laundry restaurant in violation of COVID-19 restrictions in November 2020 – sent his four children to a private school that opened for in-person instruction full-time in November 2020, and he sent his son to a mask-optional summer camp this past summer, where photos of his son – maskless and inside – surfaced in July 2021. Newsom pulled his son out of the camp, but the damage had been done.

"This is the ultimate hypocrisy," Bryant told Fox News. "It's hilariously ironic that every single thing that Newsom has done breaking the rules turns out to be OK later."

Davison condemned the "hypocrisy of him sending his son to in-person education, which indicates that he didn't think it was unsafe to return to in-person learning" last year.

"How do you justify one school being able to open, and the other not?" Zachreson asked, noting that the rules for in-person learning appeared to fit Newsom's personal needs. (The private school Newsom's children attended remained open while others were forced to close.)

Bryant noted that he could not afford to send his children to private school, while Suverna – whose husband is a physician – lost the opportunity due to the shifting standards of Newsom's restrictions.

"If I had known from summertime or early fall [that schools would close again], I would have done everything I could to put my kids in private school or homeschool," the mother told Fox News. Yet by the time she learned that the school would remain closed, it was too late: "People had already enrolled in charter schools. We were left with no options."

Daniella Bloom, a licensed psychotherapist in Los Angeles who took her three kids out of the Los Angeles Unified School District, called Newsom the ultimate example of "do as I say, not as I do."

"His children have enjoyed private schooling. His vineyard has enjoyed staying open. He is so disconnected from the typical Californian family," Bloom told Fox News.

Each of the parents firmly supported the recall.

"I mean, a rock would be better than Newsom," quipped Zachreson, who told Fox News he voted for Newsom in 2018. "A lot of what he's done has caused harm. It would have been better for him to have just done nothing at all, in many cases."

"Those with school-aged children are more likely to support the recall than those without," he added.

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