Despite possible protest, students will still need to wear masks in school

Apr 12, 2021, 7:42 AM | Updated: 7:46 am

Utah needs more school bus drivers...

FILE -- Students at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in South Salt Lake wear masks as the get on a bus to go home after their first day of school on Aug. 24, 2020. (PHOTO: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(PHOTO: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Even though the statewide mask mandate was lifted for most Utahns, educators said students will still have to wear masks in school. Some parents are planning to protest, but educators said those protests will fall on deaf ears.

“Can people just refuse and come into class?  The answer would be, ‘no,’” warned Alpine School District Spokesperson Kimberly Bird.

Educators said they understand the frustration with wearing masks, and they look forward to the day when they’re not required. However, Bird saidthis is a mandate coming down from the state, and they have no choice but to follow it.

She said, “It’s not our principals’ or our teachers’ fault that this is a mandate that has been given to them. They have no legal authority to change it, at all.”

If a student in the Alpine School District doesn’t comply with the mandate, they’ll be sent to the office and offered one. If the student continues to refuse, their parents will be called.  After that, the student would be offered online classes instead of face-to-face learning.

Officials in the Granite School District said their policy is the same.  Spokesman Ben Horsley said their research showed mask use was crucial in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

Horsley said, “It’s interesting that everyone’s, kind of, on the bandwagon to get rid of the very tools that have helped us to be successful in the first place.”

However, he doesn’t believe they’ll see much resistance from students.  Horsley said the kids have been very cooperative with the teachers telling them to mask up.

He said, “We rarely see circumstances, maybe once a day or a handful of instances where we have to remind kids, ‘Hey, where’s your mask?’”

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Despite possible protest, students will still need to wear masks in school