Monday, August 16, 2021

Parents get loud and rowdy at the Williamson County School Board meeting.

Clip of the rowdy meeting
by Rod Williams -  In case you missed it, the August 10th Williamson County School Board meeting got kind of noisy and rowdy.  Twitter clips of this school board meeting have "gone viral," as they say, getting millions of views.  The video clips seem to confirm that parents were "vocal" in expressing their opinion at the meeting.

This meeting has drawn national attention and even President Biden has commented on it

The School Board was deciding if children in Williamson County Schools would have to wear masks.  Health officials attended the meeting advocating in favor of the mask and hundreds of parents were on hand opposing a mask mandate.  By a vote of 7-3, the Board went with a policy to require a mask mandate for elementary children.  

After the meeting as health officials were trying to leave the parking lot, it looks as if parents tried to "engage," with them. Police had to protect the health officials from the crowd, or maybe "mob" is an appropriate term. Health officials were threatened.  One clip shows a man telling a health official, “We know who you are. You can leave freely, but we will find you.”

By all accounts, the new Delta variant of the Covid virus is more contagious than the previous version and the number of infections is growing.  I respect the school board members who are tasked with the job of making the decision to require masks or not.  If after carefully considering the testimony of experts and if those experts recommended children wear masks, I am not going to second guess members of the school board who reached the decision that a mask mandate was the right policy. 

Clip of the parking lot as protestors harass health officials
To watch this and the above clip follow this link

I know that what we see in the video may not be representative of what happened at the meeting.  Just as the BLM riots of last summer were "mostly peaceful,"  and the January 6th Capitol "insurrection" was "mostly peaceful,' this may have been a, "mostly respectful," case of parental involvement, but it sure looks like thuggish behavior on the part of parents.  Sometimes it only takes a few trouble makers to make a whole crowd look bad.

The public business should be conducted with sober deliberation in a peaceful setting and observers should remain civil.  I do not want elected representatives making decisions out of fear or simply responding to the loudest voice.  I actually don't want elected officials bowing to public pressure.  They should listen to their constituents but that does not mean they substitute their judgment for that of an angry loud group of constituents.  

For more on this meeting, see these links: link, link, link, and link.

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