Two Utah County residents have been charged for allegedly disrupting an Alpine School Board of Education meeting earlier this year in protest of the statewide mask mandate for K-12 schools.
Cedar Hills resident Britney Krystine Lindsey, 31, and Lindon resident Aaron Ralph Davidson, 57, were both charged in Fourth District Court on May 20 with disrupting a meeting or procession, a class B misdemeanor, as well as disorderly conduct, an infraction.
Charging documents state that, in American Fork on April 27, the defendants “intend(ed) to prevent or disrupt a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering by obstructing or interfering with said meeting, procession, or gathering by physical action, verbal utterance or any other means.”
On April 27, the Alpine School Board held a public meeting at the Alpine School District Education Center, which is located in American Fork. Members of the public were asked to attend the meeting remotely “in accordance with directives regarding social distancing,” according to a sign taped to the building door.
Outside the building, dozens of protesters held signs with slogans like “Stop Masking Kids!” and shirts saying “See My Smile.” A livestream of the meeting shows the protesters demanding to be let in and chanting, “Do the right thing!”
“You have a lot of us out here waiting to get into the meeting,” Lehi resident Stephanie Grant told the Alpine School District board. “All the other districts are open, so I don’t understand why you’re not allowing us in. It’s not (because of) COVID, because your seats are completely empty.”
Grant urged the school board to end the mask requirement for the last days of the school year and said COVID-19 restrictions are “making our teachers turn into a police force instead of being able to be their teachers and their advocates.”
“It’s wrong that our kids have ever been masked,” she said. “It’s wrong to make them feel like a walking disease. It’s wrong all the propaganda going up all over the schools that tell(s) them to stay away from their friends and stay away from each other.”
Two weeks after the meeting, the Alpine School District announced that the board would be meeting remotely due to “a substantial risk to the safety of staff and those attending,” noting that “following the board meeting two weeks ago various staff members, as they left their job, were followed to their cars by some of these protesters and they were yelled at and harassed on the way to their cars.”
“While we understand there are many views regarding masks, the behavior by these few individuals is unfortunate and concerning,” Alpine School District spokesperson David Stephenson said in May.
Lindsey is a candidate for a four-year term on the Cedar Hills City Council. A candidate profile she submitted to the city states that she “stand(s) for supporting your family’s individual rights as upheld by our state and nation’s constitution.”
On May 11, Lindsey posted a video on Facebook showing her and others protesting outside of the Alpine School District Education Center.
“We are hoping that enough word can get out to them that we are still here waiting to get in that meeting — however stupid it sounds,” she said. “We can’t stop sticking up for our kids.”
Previous Alpine School District board meetings were disrupted as well, including a November 2020 meeting that law enforcement were called to due to a disturbance by anti-mask protestors.
The Alpine School District could not be reached on Thursday to comment on the charges.
Last week, two American Fork residents were charged for allegedly interrupting a Granite School Board meeting on May 4.