RIVERTON, Utah — As the 2021-2022 school year approaches with COVID-19 case counts rising in Utah, parents are feeling uncertainty about safety protocols in the classroom.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Jordan School Board, several parents on both sides of the mask mandate issue voiced their concerns to the board.
“Err on the side of freedom, let us have our own choice,” one parent said.
“Let us have our voice in the decision,” added another parent who opposes mask requirements.
But one parent who said she was a nurse urged school leaders to trust health professionals.
“Schools must take a multi-pronged, layered approach to protect students, teachers and staff including vaccination, universal mask use, ventilation, testing, quarantining, and disinfecting,” she said. “Combining these layers of protection will make in-person learning safe and possible.”
Following public comment, a lawyer for the district explained the legal authority of the board pertaining to COVID safety policies.
“You don’t have the discretion to require face masks in school,” he said.
Just last week, Salt Lake County leaders addressed the issues of masks in schools.
While masks were required in all schools statewide during the 2020-2021 school year, Utah lawmakers explicitly banned mask mandates in schools for the upcoming school year in a special legislative session.