Boone County Schools mask mandate stays despite hostile meeting

Coronavirus in West Virginia

BOONE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – The Boone County School Board voted last week to mandate masks for all of its students, and despite angry parents at Monday’s meeting, the decision stands.

The room was full on Monday’s Board of Education meeting, where despite the room almost being at capacity, only 14 speakers signed up to give public comments about the mask mandate.

The first four were split down the middle.

Two were against the mask mandate: “If school becomes a place that our kids hate attending, they don’t listen, they act out,” said the first mother to take the podium.

The other two thanked the Board for their decision.

“Thank you for making the decision you made, we need all the safety we can get, as Brandy had said, we have seatbelts we have car seats we do what we can to keep our children safe,” said another mother.

Still, the room was primarily made up of parents and grandparents – both men and women – who argued it should be their choice.

Many would raucously cheer after someone against the mask mandate took the podium and had their say.

“Promoting the use of a non-FDA approved mask is unwarranted and illegal, and that’s all I have to say,” said one woman who said the mask mandate violates the Nuremberg Code.

Some also brought their own internet findings to the podium, like that masks increase carbon monoxide intake for kids.

Others threatened lawsuits, homeschooling their children, and telling their kids they don’t have to wear one.

“My grandson is not going to be forced to wear one!” shouted one elderly man at the podium.

Boone County School Board President Susan Kimbler told the audience it wasn’t an easy decision that rested on the Board’s shoulders.

Kimbler said it was made based on CDC guidelines, and making sure children would be able to stay back in school despite the Delta variant.

“It’s not fun to sit up here and listen to this, it’s not fun for people to call us names, that I have never dreamed – I’m a retired school teacher,” said Kimbler.

A woman in the audience then interrupted her and threatened to post videos of her rolling her eyes at the speakers on Facebook.

Boone County School Board Vice President Charles Gibson said he was worried he’d be challenged to a fistfight on the way to his car.

“I don’t just go home and leave this job, I take it home with me, it’s on my mind all of the time, it’s personal to me,” said Gibson.

Follow Larisa Casillas on Facebook and Twitter for the latest local and breaking news

For local and breaking news, weather alerts, video and more, download the FREE WOWK 13 News App from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download the FREE WOWK 13 News App

Washington DC Bureau

More Washington DC Bureau

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories