Lawyers, Guns, and Money – How School Boards Wield Their Power Around Mask Mandates

Lawyers, Guns, and Money – How School Boards Wield Their Power Around Mask Mandates

Imagine my surprise, while looking for material to write about, to find my two political mentors’ faces on the cover of a local news outlet.  I admit, I have been in a bit of a personal bubble.  Besides my father’s funeral, family drama continues to play out over our own political polarization.  As such, I  have missed various political meetings this month. School Boards have been a great substitute for going to the movies this year.  Grab a bag of pop corn and join me!  For the last several months, I have been attending school board meetings in both my own jurisdiction of Georgetown, TX and my neighboring city of Round Rock.

As I contemplate a run for an open school board seat next year in Georgetown, I thought it wise to see school boards in action.  While doing so, I was introduced to Danielle Weston, who won a seat on the very contentious Round Rock School Board this past November.  As I have gotten to know her, I have been awed by this woman’s convictions and knowledge.  She, along with Mary Bone, are the only two conservative voices within the Round Rock School Board.  Apparently, attempting to be a voice of your constituents is now a censorable offense.  Round Rock is not alone however in the growing battle over mask mandates. Schools boards and Counties across the country are defying state laws by both banning and forcing mask mandates.

Screen capture from Republican Party of Texas Facebook Post

While the actual drama unfolded over the number of people physically allowed into the public school board meeting, the reason for the high turn-out was the intent to discuss and vote on continuing the RR ISD mask mandates.  Round Rock is just one of many school boards acting in defiance of Gov. Greg Abbot’s order which prohibits school boards from forcing mask mandates within our school systems.   From the KXAN article:

“Community members were unhappy with [seating limitations], citing the Open Meetings Act. RRISD says they abided by the Open Meetings Act and did not violate the law “in any way.”

In the district’s livestream, board members can be heard asking a police officer at the meeting to remove one of the members of the crowd.

“We cannot continue our meeting with him speaking,” one of the board members said.

That person, who can’t be seen in the district’s livestream, but was caught on camera by KXAN and can be seen being escorted out in the video above, screams at the board members on his way out.

“It’s an open meeting! Shame on you. Communist! Communist! Let the public in!” he said.

It was shortly after the public meltdown of the meeting that Danielle Weston and Mary Bone chose to walk out which prompted the rest of the board’s desire to publicly censure them.   Luckily, a judge has granted a temporary TRO to block the censure.

Just last month, I had the pleasure of attending my very first protest rally. I came to support Dustin Clark, who is working to unseat one of the liberal Trustees on Round Rock’s school board.  We met at a political training event early this summer.  Together with about 50 parents and children within the Round Rock school system, we stood outside the county court house to protest their order to require masks within schools.  I carried my “My Body, My Choice” placard high.  I felt the very thrill of car horns blaring in support of our mission.  I can see why this is the new version of being a band groupie.

Dustin Clark, along with one other gentleman were actually ARRESTED for their request to stay within the main meeting hall for the September meeting.  Again, I wish I could say this was unusual.  We are watching the divide in America grow in small settings such as this, around the country.

As CNN reported yesterday, heavy police presence was seen at a West Palm Beach school board meeting.  Mask wearers were allowing within the main meeting hall while unmasked attendees were segregated, forced to watch virtually.

Dozens of police officers were standing by as the Palm Beach County School Board held a meeting Wednesday evening with masked and unmasked spectators watching from separate rooms, as the board said it would abide with the latest state rule that takes a “symptoms-based approach” to quarantining students.”

A crowd of about 40 people sat in the masked section of the meeting, while those who wanted to go without a face covering were in a room across the parking lot.”

The Palm Beach County Superintendent, Michael Burke, had to apologize last month for what many parents felt was a highly offensive statement.

During a back-to-school breakfast hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches on Tuesday, a woman in the audience asked Burke if there was anything the community could do to support students and the School District of Palm Beach County during this challenging time.”

“Yes, send lawyers, guns, and money please,” Burke jokingly said, which was met by a roar of laughter and applause from the crowd.”

Burke then quickly backtracked on his comments.”

“You can hold the guns. But the lawyers and money might come in handy,” Burke said with a smile on his face. “Your support has been awesome.”

In Williamson County, TN OTHER  school boards there, defy Governor Bill Lee’s executive order, which allows parents to opt-out of school mask mandates.

(M)uch debate came from parents and students who wanted to have their voices heard. One mother stating, “get back to education, get away from health mandates.”

One man in the Tennessee debate, speaks for many parents who are concerned for their children’s mental well being rather than their physical risk from a disease that hardly moves a statistical needle for severe COVID symptoms or death:

“Yesterday I lost my beautiful niece when she took her own life due to depression. You will no longer ignore the negative consequences of masking our children for your political gain.”

While their is literally zero, ZERO, substantiated, repeatable, scientific evidence that masks keep COVID from spreading, evidence continues to pile up that masking children presents proven physical and psychological danger.  As Children’s Health Defense in California presented in July,

“California parents are using the word ‘despair’ when describing the mental state of their children. According to Psychiatrist Dr. Stefani Reinold, on the Highwire with Del Bigtree, parents have been complaining their younger children feel like they are full of germs and everyone else is full of germs. Extended mask wearing has shown detrimental psychological harms tied to lack of facial and emotional signaling according to a 1986 study on face recognition in children.”

“Another report found wearing a mask longer than four hours a day decreases cognitive precision, increases headaches and sweating, and encourages dehydration, increasing bacterial infection risk. The same study noted a loss of sound quality from face-shield use and distorted verbal speech from masks.”

As our own Kim Hirsch noted just the other day, masking toddlers in akin to child abuse!

On the other side of the spectrum, three Christian schools in Jefferson County, CO were targeted in a lawsuit for allegedly FAILING to enforce the county’s mask mandate in schools and child daycare facilities.  These school boards are literally losing their minds!

The suit, filed on Sept. 15, accused Beth Eden Baptist School, Augustine Classical Academy and Faith Christian Academy of violating the health order. JCPH sought an injunction from the court that would force the schools to comply with the order and prevent them from denying inspectors entry to the schools.

Tuesday morning, outside the courthouse, there was a circle of prayer. Supporters of the three schools lifted their voices as attorneys inside litigated the county’s public health order. Supporters of the schools also filled up the courtroom, to the point where it was standing room only.

Wait!  I thought San Francisco mayor, London Breed, said that if the Spirit moved you, you didn’t have to wear a mask!  I am so damned confused!

What’s fascinating about the JeffCo case is that the only schools targeted for the lawsuit are the Christian schools.  While other schools are also struggling to enforce masking, only religious schools are being sued!

Hmmm, gotta ask, if you are part of a Christian school, aren’t you defacto “moved by the Spirit?”

Featured image via reptodrom on Pixabay, cropped, Pixabay license

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