SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah — The South Salt Lake City Attorney filed charges last week against 11 anti-mask protesters who disrupted a Granite District Board of Education meeting in May.
All the protesters were charged with Class B Misdemeanor disorderly conduct and disrupting a public meeting for their actions on May 4.
Although there were no plans to discuss a mask mandate for students during the meeting, the protesters began to shout "No more masks" before some walked to the front of the room, forcing board members to quickly adjourn the meeting.
"While there was a police presence at the meeting, the decision was made in advance to be non-confrontational unless the situation became violent. Regardless, there are repercussions for these actions and the board was unable to conduct it’s business as a result of these disruptive criminal actions. The board and district encourage civil discourse as we model appropriate behavior for our children and students," a Granite District Board spokesperson said.
As the members left the room, some of the protesters become more vocal.
"Since they're going to leave, we are going to take control” one parent yelled, with another coming from the back screaming “End the mask mandate now!” That call turned parents to start a vote with the first screaming “I motion… I motion…” and everyone raising their hands to symbolize that they were in agreement.
Many of the protesters were part of a group called Utah Parents United that looked to abolish masks in the state's K-12 schools with just weeks remaining in the school year.
The following people were charged:
- Ted Michael Tyler - Taylorsville
- Scott Randall Sherner - West Valley City
- Debora Noriko Arai - West Valley City
- Sophia Anderson - Salt Lake City
- Angela Kay Van Leeuwen -Salt Lake City
- Andrea May Jorgensen - Holladay
- Bernadette Ethel Brockman - Taylorsville
- Jeremy Kawika Dunyon - West Valley City
- Kasey Ray Wilson - West Jordan
- Sara Lea McArthur (also known as Sara McArthur Pierce) - American Fork
- Kaleb Jeremiah Pierce - American Fork
Officials say a twelfth protester has not yet been identified, but an investigation is ongoing.