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Utah’s Legislature deciding to ban schools from requiring masks this fall

FILE -- Students at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in South Salt Lake wear masks as the get on a bus to go home after their first day of school on Aug. 24, 2020. (PHOTO: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah’s Legislature is deciding whether or not to ban schools from requiring masks in the upcoming school year. According to, this debate comes in wake of a surge of pushback from some parents who were upset masks were required in K-12 schools after other statewide COVID-19 requirements were lifted.

A special session is set for Wednesday where Governor Spencer Cox is allowing the Legislature to add more concrete detail to ban schools from requiring masks in the fall. 

Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said he believes lawmakers will vote to ban schools in the state from being able to require masks for kids in the upcoming school year. 

House Bill 1007, was proposed and made through a House Legislative Committee Tuesday afternoon. 

Adams was asked on the Dave and Dijanovic show, whether he thinks lawmakers would ban schools from being able to require masks. 

He said, “I believe they will.” Adams continued,”And I think the reason is we have the flexibility to come in and change that [the ban on masks requirements] if we need to. But I think it’s good to give clarity, I think it’s good to give unanimity.


During a committee hearing Tuesday, some lawmakers argued that if this bill passes, school districts wouldn’t be able to enforce masks if there was an outbreak at a school. 

House Minority Leader Representative Brian King said he believes lawmakers should be in charge of putting up the guardrails on this issue, not taking a one size fits all approach.

“We talk about local control all the time and how we want to have it and how we want to do it, but we believe in local control until we want to control the locals,” he said.

The bill would still allow masks for kids to be optional but would make it so schools couldn’t mandate them in the classroom or anywhere else on campus. The bill also stated, it “prohibits the Utah Board of Higher Education from requiring a face covering to 18 participate in or attend instruction, activities, or in any other place on the campus of 19 the institution.”

The full agenda for the special session on Wednesday is available on the governor’s website.