‘I will bring every loaded gun,’ parent told Virginia school officials at mask mandate meeting

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A woman from Virginia has been loaded after appearing to threaten school board officials as they gathered to vote on whether to lift a mask requirement.

The woman, Amelia King, 42, is charged with make an oral threat on school property after being cut off during a public comment section of the Page County Public School Board meeting on Thursday, the Luray Police Department said in a statement.

“Very good. No mask mandate,” King told council members after his three-minute comment period ended. “My kids are not coming to school on Monday wearing a mask. That’s not happening, and I’ll bring every weapon loaded and ready.

When a board member cut King off again, noting that three minutes is policy, she said, “I’ll see you all on Monday.”

King was arrested on Friday and later released on $5,000 bond, according to Luray police.

She did not respond to a message left Friday on a phone number listed under her name. But later in Thursday’s meeting, she emailed a board member an apology saying she was “only speaking figuratively”.

“I in no way meant to involve ‘all loaded guns’ as in actual firearms, but rather all the resources I can muster to make sure my kids go to school without a mask,” says the email, according to a school board member who read the memo aloud. “My sincere apologies for my poor choice of words.”

Bo Cook, head of the Luray Police Department, said King contacted law enforcement to apologize also. But his comments “have absolutely alarmed the public”, he said, adding that other local authorities were also investigating the incident.

In a joint statement Friday, the school district superintendent and board chair said King’s comments “go against everything we want to model for our students” and “go against the very nature of how we as a community should interact with each other”.

“This type of behavior is not tolerated by our students, teachers, staff, parents or guests of our school division,” the statement added.

At Thursday’s meeting, school board members voted 4-2 to lift a mask mandate put in place by former Gov. Ralph Northam last year, the Winchester Star reported. The vote came after Governor Glenn Youngkin issued a Executive Decree make K-12 mask mandates optional. The order takes effect Monday.

Youngkin, a newly elected Republican, signed the executive order on his first day in office, saying that the decision to wear a mask is a “matter of personal freedom; parents should make this decision for their children”.

Nicole Acevedo contributed.

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