UTAH — The Granite School District’s board of education made a frantic motion to adjourn their meeting Tuesday evening after an eruption from parents upset with the continuation of mask requirements in Utah schools. Now, Utah lawmakers are chiming in and have a lot to say about the outbursts.
Tuesday, the state reached the threshold criteria required for COVID-19 public health orders to expire, but the mask mandate in K-12 schools stays in place through the end of the school year.
Chaos erupted at the Granite school board meeting during public comment as parents protested the continued mandate. The video below, given to 2News by the Granite School District, shows the chaos of last night’s meeting.
“We will likely see this kind of behavior from their kids at school. What kind of role models are these parents? I heard some had their kids with them,” said Utah House Rep. Carol Moss.
Rep. Andrew Stoddard tweeted, “This is absolutely appalling! Civility is becoming a lost art for so many, and scenes like this are the consequence.”
Utah House Rep. Elizabeth Weight said, “‘Respectful and civil … as a model for the children for which we have stewardship …’ These are foundational concepts in civics and education. Thank you, @GraniteSchools leaders, for standing on principles of public safety & civil discourse!”
At the Granite board meeting, public comment devolved into a chaotic scene as state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, a former state school board member, approached the podium to comment and was loudly booed by parents in the audience.
Parents shouted over Riebe as she thanked teachers and acknowledged Teacher Appreciation Day. After Riebe, the board attempted to close the citizen comment section when a woman approached the podium and exclaimed, “You let a senator come up here and speak in the name of my children who you guys are abusing? Are you serious?”
As the board attempted to regain control of the crowd a man stood up and shouted, “You will listen to us!” He was told the board is ending citizen participation and shouted, “Remember this day! Remember this day!”
The man gestured with a sheet of paper, yelling to the crowd, “This is the truth about masks in the state of Utah! What they’re telling you about masks is a lie!”
As district officials attempted to reason with parents crowding the podium, the crowd erupted into chants of “No more masks! No more masks!”
Over the commotion, one board member yelled out a motion to adjourn the out-of-control meeting and was quickly seconded. More shouting ensued.
A spokesman for the district confirmed police were called to de-escalate the situation.
“Granite District fundamentally believes and encourages a diversity of opinions when shared in respectful and civil manner and will continue to encourage civil discourse as a model for the children which we have stewardship over,” Ben Horsley wrote.