Salt Lake City, UT

The Salt Lake County Council Voted Down a Mask Mandate for Schools

S. F. Mori

Hundreds of parents were happy.

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Salt Lake City and County Building(Image is author's)

The Salt Lake County Council had a meeting where they voted on a mask mandate for children in schools for the coming year which is just beginning. Hundreds of parents, along with some of their children, showed up for the meeting. They were not wearing masks and protested the mandate. They brought signs which expressed their views. They cheered loudly after the council voted.

Dr. Angela Dunn, executive director for the Salt Lake County Health Department, and a medical expert on COVID, had recommended that schools mandate masks for children in schools K-6. The Salt Lake County Council voted to overturn the mandate and not require masks for children in schools.

An article by Leia Larsen and Sean Means in the Salt Lake Tribune on August 12, 2021, reported on the Salt Lake County Council meeting. The vote was 6-3 against having a mandate for masks. The six Republicans on the Council all voted against the mask mandate while the three Democrats voted for a mandate.

The article quoted Winder Newton, one of the Republicans, who made the following statement: “Although we have smart, incredible health officials, there are so many unknowns. It’s difficult because none of us have a crystal ball to see how our decision today will impact the future.”

Medical and health experts have repeatedly and continuously given advice about masks along with vaccinations. They are almost universally asking people to take the safe route by being vaccinated and still wearing masks indoors where they are deemed to be of value.

Earlier that day, The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement encouraging people to become vaccinated and to wear masks in certain indoor situations. They have proclaimed that the vaccinations and mask wearing are the safe and prudent action to take. The information was sent to all members of The Church with email addresses. It was also provided to the media.
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Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(Image is author's)

The mask mandate proposed by Dr. Dunn and County officials was to be implemented for K-6, which means it was for those unvaccinated. It was intended to keep the children as safe as possible.

The large crowd of anti-mask people at times heckled the Democrats on the Council when they spoke in favor of having face coverings for children too young to be vaccinated. After the council voted to overturn the mask mandate recommended by health officials, a group waved the American flag with the Three Percenters logo as they sang the National Anthem. They also chanted “USA! USA!”

The article gave an explanation of the Three Percenters from the ADL. They appear to be Trump Republicans.
Three Percenters are a part of the militia movement and derive their name from the incorrect belief that only 3% of colonists fought against the British in the Revolutionary War, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The group’s logo — the Roman numeral for the number three — is popular with anti-government extremists.

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson is a Democrat. She had allowed the school mask order to stand as issued by Dr. Dunn. That put the issue into the hands of the Salt Lake County Council for a vote.

It was estimated that about 300 people, including dozens of children, attended the meeting to oppose the mask mandate. They carried signs which called for parents to have the choice. The crowd was happy as they cheered and screamed after the council voted to overturn the mask mandate.

The mask mandate would have included exemptions from the mask mandate of the prior year for K-12 students. It would apply just to indoor settings.

The people who are for the mask mandates for young children in schools are hopeful that their children will be safe. Many feel that the masks will offer a layer of protection for their children which they would not normally have without the masks. Their children will likely be taking the option to wear masks.

Most children who are seen wearing masks seem to be fine with the new normal to wear face coverings. It depends a lot on what they hear from their parents. Those who oppose masks are vocal and loud in their protests. Hopefully, all the children will be safe from COVID.

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I am a retired President/CEO of civil rights organizations. I have been a Mayor and California State Assemblyman as well as a College Instructor of Economics. I have also been an entrepreneur and international business consultant. I will be sharing articles mostly about life, politics, racism, travel, health, and relationships.

Salt Lake City, UT
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