Lauren Becerra hoped that this school year would be a return to normal for her 6-year-old son, Steven.

“He was ready to go, we got him school supplies and a backpack, and then we found out he had to be masked up,” Becerra, of Eldorado, said of the statewide mandate requiring unvaccinated kids to wear masks in public school. “He wants to go to school, but we won’t send him with a mask. Now he is going to be home again.”

Becerra was among 35 people who gathered Saturday at Alta Vista Street and St. Francis Drive to protest school mask mandates, as coronavirus cases continue to surge. Similar protests were held across the state.

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