2:45 PM PDT, August 12, 2021
Emotions are running high at school board meetings across the U.S. over mask mandates in schools.
“Actions have consequences. If you vote for this, we will come for you, in a non-violent way,” one angry parent said at a school board meeting in Williamson County, Tennessee.
“You do not have the legal authority to issue a mandate. These parents aren’t putting a mask on our children and if you try to force us to do so, I know I personally will sue, and anyone else here who will join me, please show us hands,” another parent said.
And when the school board voted to temporarily require the face coverings, there was a heated reaction.
“Will not comply! Will not comply!” the crowd chanted.
The tension continued outside.
“We know who you are! You can leave freely, but we will find you and we know who you are,” one person shouted at a parent inside of his car.
The wild scenes even caught the attention of President Joe Biden, who addressed the Tennessee protesters ahead of a press conference.
“I know there are a lot of people out there trying to turn a public safety measure, children wearing masks in school so they can be safe, into a political dispute,” Biden said. “This isn’t about politics, this is about keeping our children safe.”
Local school board meetings are usually sedate, even boring — but not these days and not just over masks. Across the country, they are becoming the frontline battleground in the culture wars.
There was another chaotic scene at a school board meeting in Loudon County, Virginia during a recent public-comment session on race and transgender issues.
Jennifer Jenkins sits on the Brevard County School Board in Florida, where another contentious meeting took place. Jenkins says it got so intense, her own home was targeted.
“Just yesterday, our sheriff escorted the entire board out of the board meeting, made us call a mandatory recess and go into our offices for our safety and the safety of everyone in the room, because it was getting so out of control,” Jenkins told Inside Edition.