Group sues Utah, Salt Lake County over ban on school mask mandates

Aug 23, 2021, 6:12 PM | Updated: 8:39 pm

SALT LAKE CITY A newly-formed organization has filed a lawsuit against the state of Utah and Salt Lake County, saying lawmakers have no right deciding if children should be wearing mask in schools.

The Utah Concerned Coalition held a press conference Monday afternoon, saying the power should be with health experts and schools to decide who should be wearing masks.

“Let the schools, let the health department, let the people that really know what makes for a safe school, what makes for a safe environment, make those decisions and not the legislature,” said Greg Skordas, a well-known defense attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the coalition. “[Lawmakers] are really making it impossible what our school can do, what they are chartered to do, what they are required to do, what they are constitutionally mandated to do, which is to provide a free and safe education.”

Jenny Nazzaro, the mother of two elementary school children and the co-founder of the coalition, said she’s very concerned about sending her children to school without a mask.

“I’m terrified. I have not slept great in weeks,” she said. “There are plenty of kids that are perfectly healthy, with no pre-existing conditions, that end up in the hospital and end up on ventilators that end up dying.”

Jessica Pyper, who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, is worried about her son who has Type 1 diabetes.

“He’s going to continue to miss out on education because of the lack of safety precautions,” said Pyper.

Skordas said he’s planning to file a temporary restraining order against the laws the legislature have put into place in hopes of trying to get something done early in the school year.

“This is our call to action to protect our children and our community,” said Chris Phillips, the co-founder of Utah Concerned Coalition.

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Group sues Utah, Salt Lake County over ban on school mask mandates