Washington County parents react to school districts decision to not enforce mask wearing

Local News

HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4) – Starr Jones says she became uneasy after her daughter, Semaj, came home one day telling her no one in her school, including teachers, are wearing masks.

“It’s just a little hard, because for the kids, there’s no vaccinations available, so they are super, super at risk,” says Jones.

But Rebecca Holman says she feels the opposite. Her kids got excited when they found out they wouldn’t be reprimanded for not following the guideline, and so did she.

“They were running around screaming that there were no more masks, and I just feel like the school has done a good job monitoring and keeping things in check when people are sick or have positive results that have had to stay home,” says Holman.

There is one active COVID-19 case in Washington County School District and nine people in quarantine. District leaders say they contemplated masks in school after the state’s mandate was lifted at the beginning of May.

“We’re encouraging students and staff to still wear masks, but we’re not enforcing it if they choose not to,” says Steven Dunham, Washington County School District’s director of communications.

Jones says she believes the district’s decision to not enforce it is irresponsible.

“I know everybody’s so eager to get the masks taken off, but were not done. The virus is still here and I think protecting our kids should be our first priority cuz’ it’s your first priority in any other aspect,” says Jones.

Holman says each family should be able to make the ultimate decision regarding their kids.

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“I think we know a whole lot more than what we did a year ago when everything was in place, and I think we need to take that learning and be realistic about what measures need to take place,” says Holman.

State health officials are still asking students and staff to wear masks in public schools until June 15.

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