BACK TO SCHOOL

Educators Rally At Capitol To Call For Safe School Reopenings Guided By Experts

Jul 23, 2020, 12:03 PM | Updated: Jul 30, 2020, 3:16 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Educators from across the state rallied at the Utah State Capitol for districts to comply with CDC guidelines before sending students and teachers back to the classroom.

They said Thursday those measures need to go beyond masks, and they are calling on state leaders to make it happen.

Dozens showed up, masked up, and made their voices heard as they demonstrated outside the Capitol Building and gathered signatures.

“It’s not just about masks,” said teacher and special needs advocate Steve Phelps. “It’s about all the CDC guidelines.”

While they said they appreciate the flexibility given by the Gov. Gary Herbert’s mask mandate in schools, they said it also needs to be more defined.

“We’re not doctors, but we think doctors should be brought to the table,” said teacher and mother Wendy Moss.

Educators said wearing masks is one critical element, but so is socials distancing.

“What we want is additional protection for teachers who have a mask exempt student in their classroom,” said Moss.

“We’re asking the governor to follow the CDC guidelines and the Department of Health guidelines and enforce social distancing as a mandate – just like he has masks,” said Phelps.

Part of that concern is not only for the teachers, but for students who may need extra strict guidelines in order to be safe.

“Students with special needs are by far more likely to have underlying health issues that are going to cause major concern with COVID if they get exposed,” said Phelps.

Another concern is parents who take a political stand and don’t allow their kids to wear masks.

“I would call on school districts to require some sort of medical documentation to actually receive mask exemption,” said Phelps.

Overall, they said they just want protection for all.

“What we really want is for the governor to appoint experts, infectious disease experts, people who have studied the spread of COVID-19, to approve these plans, to say, ‘Yes, this is safe, this will mitigate the spread,’ or, ‘No, this isn’t,’” said Moss.

Another issue educators noted is schools have windows that can’t open due to school shooter safety measures. So teachers want HVAC systems that are CDC compliant and won’t recycle air.

The educators said they want Herbert to lead the districts on what to do and to bring in the health department to make sure both students and teachers are safe.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Back to School

cool zone interactive map to beat the heat...
Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

Salt Lake County sets up cooling locations to escape ‘dangerous’ heatwave

Temperatures are expected to rise high enough in the next few days for Salt Lake County to set up several cooling stations where people can stay safe in the heat.
21 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Ladd Egan, KSL TV

Money for Utah teacher bonuses headed to districts by June

Teachers who took on extra work during the omicron surge will soon be getting a thank you in their paychecks
3 months ago
(KSL TV)...
PHILIP MARCELO and DAVE COLLINS Associated Press

Mask mandates go away in schools, but parent worries persist

Major school districts around the country are allowing students into classrooms without masks for the first time in nearly two years, eliminating rules that stirred up intense fights among educators, school boards, and parents throughout the pandemic.
4 months ago
FILE: STEM teacher Julie Nye at Lone Peak Elementary (KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace & Ladd Egan, KSL TV

Gov. Cox allows state employees time off to substitute teach in local schools

Gov. Spencer Cox issued an executive order Monday allowing state employees to take approved leave from work to substitute teach or fill other needed positions in Utah schools.
5 months ago
FILE PHOTO (Cache County School District)...
Josh Ellis, KSL TV

Cache County schools adjust schedules due to student, staff absenteeism

The Cache County School District has announced adjusted schedules for all of its schools due to "unprecedented student and staff absenteeism."
5 months ago
FILE PHOTO: Viewmont High School student Becca Marsden is tested for COVID-19 by Davis School Distr...
Tamara Vaifanua, KSL TV

Utah House votes to suspend Test to Stay program

Lawmakers in the Utah House of Representatives have approved a bill that would suspend the state's Test to Stay program and clarify how schools would request to go remote.
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Educators Rally At Capitol To Call For Safe School Reopenings Guided By Experts