EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Mask mandates lifted in some school districts, students say ‘it feels weird’

May 24, 2021, 7:00 PM
school mask mandates...
(Masks handed out by volunteers at West High School in the Salt Lake City School District. Credit: Paul Nelson, file)
(Masks handed out by volunteers at West High School in the Salt Lake City School District. Credit: Paul Nelson, file)

SANDY, Utah — For many school kids across Utah, this is the last week of school, and mask mandates have been lifted in certain districts. 

Some students say they’re very happy about the change, while others believe lifting the mandate is a bad idea.

End of mask mandates in school

There was a mixed reaction among the students of Jordan High School in the Canyons School District once the mask mandate ended.  While outside, most of the students decided not to wear a mask, and some students say the lifting of the mandate is a welcome change.  One student tells KSL it was much easier to breathe without a mask.

“When you breathe (with a mask), it feels weird,” he said. 

However, others are hesitant to take them off.  One teen says he’s part of the age group that is still spreading COVID-19, so he’s going to wear a mask in class to try and stop himself from bringing the virus to his family.

“I have a baby sister, so I still wear mine at school just to make sure she’s safe,” he said.

Some students will wait to unmask

Others don’t feel enough students have received their vaccinations to limit the spread.

“I know there are vaccinations, but there is still COVID around.  I’m not going to stop wearing it just because some people have their vaccination,” one student added. 

She also believes the students who aren’t wearing masks are giving those who are a hard time.  She says a fellow student tried to remove her mask from her face.

“I kind of dodged it, but he tried to snatch it off two times and he was telling me I don’t need it anymore,” she said.

Other school districts, like the Granite School District, have their final week of classes scheduled for next week, so the mask mandate is still in effect until then.  Spokesman Ben Horsley says they won’t tolerate any kind of bullying or harassment from one group of students against the other.  Plus, they’re doing what they can to make sure viral spread is at a minimum.

“Most of our activities will be on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a lot of those activities are scheduled field days and other activities that would be outdoors, where masks wouldn’t be required anyway,” Horsley said. 

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Mask mandates lifted in some school districts, students say ‘it feels weird’