Photo Credit: GoToVan / CC
Published August 13, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative Staff-
Groups of Tennessee parents have begun lashing out about mask mandates in response to the Williamson County School Board requiring they be worn by elementary school students. On Tuesday, August 10, there was a heated discussion during the meeting.
Parents and other Tennesseans gathered outside the building on Tuesday night in protest.
“We will not comply,” many of them chanted.
Others who gathered threatened people who left the meeting wearing masks.
“We will find you,” protesters said to a man while he went to his car. “We know who you are.”
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During a portion of the meeting, the board asked to hear from parents and others in attendance about the mask mandate.
One man yelled, “There is a place in hell for you guys. There is a bad place in hell and everybody’s taking notes, buddy.”
As people were leaving, one man said, “You can leave freely, but we will find you.”
The executive director of communications for WCS, Carol Birdsong, released a statement on Wednesday to address the protests.
She said parents will be passionate when it comes to their children, but “there’s no excuse for incivility.”
“Our families and staff represent a wide variety of thoughts and beliefs, and it is important in our district that all families and staff have the opportunity to be represented and respected,” Birdsong said in her statement.
During the portion of the meeting that allowed for public comment, there were those who spoke out against masks and others who felt they were needed. Some parents threatened to sue if a mask requirement was implemented.
“Parents should be allowed to choose what they want and how their children go to school,” lawyer David Grimmett said. “At the end of the day, I see these people with the masks. They believe it is best for their children. I believe it is not. I should be given the choice.”
Internal medicine specialist Dr. Britt Maxwell told CNN that he attended the meeting because of his children, who he felt were at risk.
“At my hospital, we’re seeing otherwise healthy people in their 30s and 40s getting sick, and the case counts are going up exponentially and some are dying,” Maxwell said during the public comment portion. “We have to do everything we can to protect the whole community, and that means the people in this room that don’t agree with me and their kids in the classrooms. If we don’t do this, we’re going to have school shutdowns and quarantines and needless tragedies, and I don’t want that for my community.”
A sergeant for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office attempted to calm down outside protestors at one point.
“We are here for everybody’s safety, we are here for y’all just as much as we are here for everybody else. OK? We are here, we are away from our families, some of us are on a 17, almost an 18-hour day, and that’s me. So I’m here for y’all. I’m here for y’all. We want everything to be peaceful. I am begging y’all to be peaceful,” he said.
The WCS elementary level mask mandate will be in effect until at least September 21.
WKRN reported that the protest caught the eye of President Joe Biden who said:
“I saw a video and reports from Tennessee of protesters threatening doctors and nurses who were before a school board making the case that to keep kids safe, there should be mandatory masks,” the president said. “And as they walked out, these doctors were threatened; these nurses were threatened. You know, our health care workers are heroes. They were the heroes when there was no vaccine. Many of them gave their lives trying to save others.”