Mask-related bullying should be reported, school district leaders say

Local News

HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4) – Even though masks aren’t mandatory in the Washington County School District, district leaders say there are still a select few students and staff members choosing to mask up.

“And that’s what’s best for their families and we support that and we encourage that where it’s right for the family and we’re supportive in what they need to do to keep their family safe,” says Steven Dunham, the Washington County School District spokesperson.

He says a recent incident involving bullying over mask-wearing happened at one of the schools. To prevent or quickly resolve future incidents, he says parents should report any incident to their principal right away.

“We cannot take action if we don’t know about it, so often cases of bullying or teasing or anything go unreported and we need to know about it because if we know about it, we will take action,” he says.

Dunham says parents should know there is an online tool where anyone can report bullying anonymously, called ‘Safe UT’.

“You can start a chat, you can give us a tip, and this is an anonymous way that will notify us so that we can begin an investigation, find out what’s happened, and again provide for that safe environment for every child in our building,” he says.

And parents should remind their children, not to judge those who choose to continue wearing masks.

“Everybody has their own situation in life and I think people are starting to realize, ‘hey there might be other reasons why they are wearing masks’ whether it’s helpful for them, for a family member, or a loved one,” says Dunham.

Dunham says this is the only reported incident since this school year began and teachers are being advised to keep a close eye on bullying in the classroom.

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