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Park City High School grapples with students who refuse to follow mask mandate

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PCSD
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Park City High School

Summit County’s new mask mandate created some challenges at Park City High School last week that resulted in student suspensions.

A joint statement from Park City School District and its local teachers union to the school community last weekend says the district won’t tolerate bullying or non-compliance with the countywide mask mandate, which began Jan 7 as omicron overtook schools.

Four Park City High School teachers told KPCW students without exemptions refused to wear masks last week. They taunted teachers, and photographed and videotaped them trying to enforce the mandate. Teachers said students threatened lawsuits and claimed the mandate was unlawful.

Park City Education Association representatives declined to comment for this report other than to confirm they met with district officials last Friday to discuss non-compliance at the high school.

KPCW obtained emails sent from assistant principal Wendy St. James to teachers Thursday, Jan. 13 in which St. James said the district office instructed them not to approach a certain student who refused to wear a mask.

Teachers said administrators indicated the reason for not engaging the student was because his family is litigious.

This week, teachers received new discipline policies for non-compliance. They include a system of three verbal warnings, sending students to the office and possibly suspending them. KPCW learned that a number of students have been suspended.

The school district will not comment on this story, and has not commented on any story by KPCW since the station reported on an investigation by the Summit County Attorney’s office into the district’s handling of a mask mandate at Parley’s Park Elementary School in November.