El Cajon Preschool Shut Down by State Government Over Mask Mandate

Written by Bobbie Wylie

On Friday, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, State Senator Brian Jones, pastors, administrators, and many community members gathered at Foothills Christian Church Preschool in El Cajon to protest the school’s shut down by the State of California. Those involved claimed the school was “targeted, harassed and shut down by bullying California regulators.”

In an interview with KUSI, Pastor Kevin Miller of Foothills Christian Church described how a complaint was made late last year against the preschool over children as young as three years old not wearing face masks. Pastor Miller stated, “from the very beginning I was deeply concerned that one way or another we would end up in a place we are, which is closing down the school.” According to Pastor Kevin Miller, Foothills Christian Church Preschool has been open for six years and has served many families. 

Foothills Christian Preschool was shut down on December 10, a Friday, which left over 100 children from 80 families in a lurch, and without childcare come Monday morning. The closure of the preschool also left 21 teachers and aids out of a job.

Pastor Miller reviewed 322 visits to preschools by the Department of Social Services in the last five years, 88 of which were during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, only Foothills and one other school were flagged for mask issues. 

Pastor Miller says the school’s administrators worked for weeks with teachers and parents to teach the children to keep their masks on, which is incredibly challenging with young children. 

State Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee), is also concerned about Foothills Preschool being closed. His office has reached out to the Department of Social Services, which has failed to get back to him. Senator Brian Jones says that his office has been engaged with Foothills since day one and will continue to support them in their capacity. Regarding the situation, he said “This is not going to go away quietly. This is a complete egregious overreach of the state government.”

Photo Cred: CBS 8