California's Department of Social Service is the government entity enforcing the mask mandate. Agents with the department visited Foothills Christian Church Preschool in El Cajon several times last September after receiving a complaint from a parent that children were not all wearing masks. The director of the preschool told CBS 8 News that some parents don't want their children to be masked.
Employees with the department returned to the preschool in early December and said many children were not wearing masks. That led to the school being shut down and the director receiving a permanent ban from ever directing another preschool.
"This is insane that we even have to go to court to defend a preschool that is being attacked because they're not forcing little 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds to wear a mask all throughout the day at preschool," says attorney Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), the law firm representing the pre-school.
"This is clear overreach by government, unsubstantiated by facts, contrary to evidence of harm to the children as well to the rights of parents," the attorney adds.
The Office of Administrative hearings are scheduled from January 26-28. According to Dacus, those administering the hearing will be determining whether the director will be banned for life from directing pre-schools and also whether the licensing of the pre-school will be revoked.
The PJI founder is convinced the Christian preschool was being targeted.
"It's very apparent," says Dacus. "Other preschools in the community, secular pre-schools, have not had these kinds of visits – [they] have not had this kind of harassment by the public health officer and by the county."
The administrative pastor of Foothills Christian Church told "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins" earlier this month that many of the other preschools in the same area had not had more than one state visit in five years – whereas during the 11 visits to Foothills' preschool, interviewers were "very, very hostile," interviewed children without the parents knowledge or permission, and even rifled through the school's files.