Park City High School students stage walkout to protest Legislature’s effort to end mask mandate

On Tuesday, the Utah State Senate passed a resolution to end the mask mandate in Salt Lake and Summit Counties.

(Carolyn Murray | KPCW) Students at Park City High School on January 20, 2022, protest recent Legislative action on terminating the mask mandate in Summit and Salt Lake counties.

The students gathered in front of the high school, many without jackets, but all wore masks. Four speakers presented their opposition to the state legislators’ recent effort to remove Summit County health officials’ ability to order public mask mandates. Before it can take effect, both houses must approve a joint resolution, which means it doesn’t require the Governor’s signature, nor can it be vetoed.

One student speaking first at the rally said he has family members who are at serious risk of being exposed to COVID-19. He said the mask mandate helps keep him from bringing the illness home, and if the joint resolution passes, it will result in kids deciding between coming to school or staying home.

Another student told the crowd COVID is a world health crisis, and because visitors come from everywhere, Summit County transmission rates are highest in the state. He said it is a civic duty to contact representatives and speak out on the issue. He encouraged those who were turning 18 by November to register to vote.

“The Utah State Senate is up for reelection on November 8 of this year. If you’re able to, we recommend emailing or calling your representatives or your senators and telling them, hey, I disagree with what you’re doing. That is our civic duty to our community, to tell the people we elected, they are doing something wrong.” the student said.

To read more about the student walkout, visit KPCW.org.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.

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