ABOVE: Granite School District meeting disrupted by anti-mask protestors
SOUTH SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – Eleven individuals have been charged after disrupting, and ultimately ending, a school board meeting in May.
The Granite School Board was forced to end a spring meeting after anti-mask protesters became agitated, and chants of “no more masks!” filled the room. The meeting was live-streamed, and you can see the moment it happened here, including when some individuals approached board members.
According to Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley, the district’s mask policy was not even on the agenda for that night’s meeting.
Police, who were present and helped de-escalate the situation, quickly launched an investigation into the incident.
The situation even caught the attention of Governor Spencer Cox. When asked about the incident, he said “people can embarrass themselves.”
“We’ve seen kids act like adults and, unfortunately, there’s been a few cases where we’ve seen adults act like kids, and that’s unfortunate,” Gov. Cox explained. “People can embarrass themselves, they can do those types of things, but, by and large, Utahns have been really, really good through this pandemic.”
Now, two months later, charges have been filed by the South Salt Lake City Attorney against 11 individuals who disrupted the May meeting.
According to Horsley, because many of the individuals were not associated with the district, more time was needed to identify them.
A twelfth suspect has yet to be identified. Police are currently seeking information on their identity.
Below is a list of the individuals who have been charged with disorderly conduct and disrupting a public meeting, according to Horsley:
Ted Michael Tyler – Taylorsville
Scott Randall Sherner – West Valley City
Debora Noriko Arai – West Valley City
Sophia Anderson – Salt Lake City
Angela Kay Van Leeuwen -Salt Lake City
Andrea May Jorgensen – Holladay
Bernadette Ethel Brockman – Taylorsville
Jeremy Kawika Dunyon – West Valley City
Kasey Ray Wilson – West Jordan
Sara Lea McArthur (also known as Sara McArthur Pierce) – American Fork
Kaleb Jeremiah Pierce – American Fork
Horsley included the below statement to ABC4.com:
While there was a police presence at the meeting, the decision was made in advance to be non-confrontational unless the situation became violent. Regardless, there are repercussions for these actions and the board was unable to conduct its business as a result of these disruptive criminal actions. The board and district encourage civil discourse as we model appropriate behavior for our children and students.
No additional details are available at this time.