SLC School District defends online-only classes after remarks by Lt. Gov.

Sep 30, 2020, 5:24 PM | Updated: 5:24 pm
Utah Schools COVID-19...
School is back in session today for most districts across the state, which has some worried about a potential spike in coronavirus cases following Thanksgiving break. (PHOTO: KSL Newsradio)
(PHOTO: KSL Newsradio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Citing the lack of a statewide mandate dictating how and when public schools would reopen during the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the district’s concern that families within their district boundaries have been hit “particularly hard” by effects of the virus, the Salt Lake City School District on Wednesday defended its decision to open in an “online only” capacity.

The comments were in response to Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, who said during the Utah Governor’s Debate on Tuesday that he questioned the District’s decision. Cox, a Republican, is running against Democratic opponent Chris Peterson to replace Gov. Gary Herbert.

“There are other things at play here that are damaging to our children besides the coronavirus,” Cox said during the debate.

“The coronavirus is absolutely important and we’re taking it very seriously. But the repercussions of not having kids in school can be just as significant and may be worse in some cases,” Cox said.

“In fact, many of our students are being left behind, especially those in low income area[s], students with disabilities. The Salt Lake City School District is the only school district in the state that has not gone back to in-person learning, and that’s a huge mistake.”

Two months ago, the Salt Lake City School District School Board voted 6-1 to offer online classes only when the school year began. At that time, interim Superintendent Larry Madden admitted that some parents wanted classes on campus. He said at that time that protecting students and staff was their overriding concern.

After Lt. Gov. Cox’s comments at the debate, Madden again defended the district’s decision.

“State leaders have chosen not to issue statewide mandates to guide our state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Madden said in a statement. “Touting a belief in local control, they have instead left crucial parts of Utah‘s public response up to locally elected government leaders, including locally elected school boards.”

Madden also noted that schools in other Utah school districts have had to temporarily close down or move to hybrid online/in-person schedules when cases of COVID-19 reached pre-determined levels. 

“While several schools across the county have experienced local COVID-19 outbreaks, our students have continued to safely learn online,” Madden said.

The District says it will “continue to let local conditions and local data guide decisions made in the best interest of students in the Salt Lake City School District.”

Today’s Top Stories


An arch over a road reads "Val Verda"...
Aimee Cobabe

Val Verda moves closer to annexation into North Salt Lake

Val Verda is an area south of Bountiful and east of Highway 89. Davis County Commissioners voted to annex it into North Salt Lake last week.
14 hours ago
State employees are awarded by Governor Cox for their exceptional service to the citizens of Utah. ...
Aubri Wuthrich

Governor Cox presents awards to state employees.

The Award of Excellence was created to recognize employees that go the extra mile and show exceptional dedication.
14 hours ago
Utah 3rd district candidates...
Curt Gresseth

Utah debates: Here’s how 3rd District candidates stand on the issues (Rep. John Curtis (R) vs. Glenn Wright (D)

Incumbent Republican Rep. John Curtis will debate Democrat challenger Glenn Wright to represent Utah's 3rd Congressional District on Oct. 6.
14 hours ago
Signs in yards and area at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon regarding the proposed gondola in ...
Allie Litzinger, Amie Schaeffer

In narrow vote, Salt Lake County Council votes no on proposed gondola

In September, Utah Department of Transportation recommended the gondola as a means to help ski traffic congestion.
2 days ago
Gov. Spencer Cox appointed John D. Luthy to the Utah State Court of Appeals on Tuesday....
Mark Jones

Gov. Cox appoints John Luthy to the Utah State Court of Appeals

Cache County Attorney John Luthy has been appointed by Gov. Spencer Cox to serve on the Utah State Court of Appeals. Luthy has been practicing law since 2003.
3 days ago
Utah Senate candidate Evan McMullin is taking a political action committee and three television sta...
Michael Houck,

Evan McMullin sues super PAC, three Utah news stations for defamatory ad

Utah Senate candidate Evan McMullin (I) is taking a political action committee and three television stations to court for a defamatory ad.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
SLC School District defends online-only classes after remarks by Lt. Gov.