(ABC4) – “The worst of times often brings out the best in people, but sometimes it brings out the worst in people.”
That was Utah Governor Spencer Cox’s reaction when asked about a group of parents, notably agitated, disrupted a meeting of the Granite School District earlier this week over mask-wearing in schools.
The protesters approached the front of the room where board members sat, with many yelling and screaming, as you can see in this video. Officials abruptly ended the meeting, which involved no discussion of masks in schools.
Granite School District has less than two weeks left in the school year, and Governor Cox has already gone on record saying masks will not be required in Utah schools next year.
According to district spokesperson Ben Horsley, police from Granite School District and South Salt Lake were present and helped to de-escalate the situation. Authorities are now investigating to identify the main aggressors and are evaluating legal action.
“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,” the governor remarked during his weekly COVID-19 briefing. “People can embarrass themselves, they can do those types of things, but, by and large, Utahns have been really, really good through this pandemic.”
Gov. Cox, as Utah’s mask-wearing requirements eased this year, has repeatedly encouraged Utahns to not embarrass themselves – if a business requires masks, wear a mask. If you don’t want to, don’t frequent that business.
“We can’t ever forget that over 2,000 Utahns are not alive today because of this terrible pandemic,” Cox continues. “But I choose to focus on the good news of the day and the good people that are doing it. And to those that are worried about the mask requirement, they’ll be gone in a couple weeks. Just hang on there, we’re at the end, let’s end this the right way, and let’s go forward and have positive interactions with each other.”
Earlier this week, Utah reached the COVID-19 thresholds that signal the end of statewide restrictions on social distancing and limits on the size of gatherings. The mask mandates in Salt Lake City and Grand County have also been lifted now that these thresholds have been met.