EDUCATION

SLC Mayor wants mask mandate for K-6 students in city schools

Aug 17, 2021, 3:02 PM | Updated: 5:38 pm
school mask mandate...
FILE: Students at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in So. Salt Lake wear masks as they get on a bus to go home after their first day of school on Aug. 24, 2020. Photo credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — At a working session of the Salt Lake City Council, Mayor Erin Mendenhall said that she would like there to be a mask mandate for K-6 students in the Salt Lake City School District.

She said, according to her attorneys, she has the power to declare a local emergency and to issue such a mask mandate. However, she wants the school board to make that recommendation.

Since that board is not scheduled to meet again until Sept. 3, Mendenhall is calling on board members to hold an emergency meeting to discuss masks.

“It’s critically important to me, actually, that our locally elected school board play a role in any decision that I may make related to orders related to the district,” Menhenhall said. “And I’ve asked the school board to make an official recommendation on a requirement for masks in schools.

“But their next regularly scheduled meeting isn’t until September 3. School starts August 24.

“It would have been much more impactful and would have prevented far more illness for the [Salt Lake] County council to have supported Dr. Dunn’s mask order for schools countywide. Pending our school board support, though, I would be prepared to act in my capacity to put that order in place for our school district.

“Our city attorney’s office has conducted a detailed and thorough analysis of my options and abilities and they’ve determined that it is within my legal capacity as mayor to declare a local emergency and issue orders related to that emergency to protect public health and safety. And I’m fully confident in our city attorney’s findings.”

Here is audio of Mendenhall’s comments at the working session:

 

 

This story is developing and will be updated.

 

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SLC Mayor wants mask mandate for K-6 students in city schools