Back to School


Concerned parents push Utah Board of Education for mask mandate in public schools

Posted at 4:25 PM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 18:52:54-04

SALT LAKE CITY — COVID-19 cases in Utah continue to climb, and a new school year is right around the corner. It’s prompting a group of concerned parents to push the state board of education for a mask mandate in public schools.

A handful of concerned parents, along with two state legislators, pulling together a pro-mask rally Friday morning at

They realize it’s an uphill battle but say they need to have their voices heard.

READ: Salt Lake County Health considers K-6 mask mandate

A few dozen concerned citizens, some bringing along their children and holding signs, hoping school board members can convince legislators to impose a school mask mandate.

Health department officials say the Delta variant is allowing COVID-19 to spread more easily than ever, even among children.

Many call that a recipe for disaster heading into a new school year.

But these folks say every little bit helps in terms of stopping the spread of COVID, including students and staff wearing face masks.

“And they were concerned that we need to have protection, all the protection possible going back into school to keep our schools open," said Rep. Gay Lynn Bennion. "We all want the schools open and that that’s the best way to keep them open.”

READ: Schools prepare for back to school; teacher's union raises concerns

So there, in a nutshell, are the two sides of a proposed mask mandate.

Jasmine Reyes says she pulled her children out of public school in Syracuse and put them in a charter school where they don’t have to wear a face mask… she says she is OK gambling with their health and the health of their fellow students.

And even though she realizes this is a tough fought battle, Bennion says state legislators did leave some wiggle room in their law prohibiting mask mandates in public schools.

It allows county councils and local school board members to follow the guidance of local health officials.

Now with the explosion in the number of COVID cases due to the Delta variant, Bennion hopes local leaders will listen to the health and science-based recommendations.