A Virginia mom went off the rails during a school board meeting Thursday, threatening to bring a loaded gun to school if her kids were forced to wear face masks. Making matters worse, the woman, who appears to have little concern for health and safety during a pandemic, works as a dental hygienist.
The Page County Public School board held a meeting on “opposing viewpoints” concerning COVID-19 precautions on Thursday evening. After a doctor from the Valley Health system presented updates on the pandemic and the importance of mask-wearing, a slew of parents made speeches advocating for face coverings.
One mother—wearing a mask—said it prevented the virus from spreading and causing potentially fatal harm to her son. A man stood at the podium—also wearing a mask—saying that he was surprised that the county had to debate the measure after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam implemented an executive order mandating masks in K-12 schools.
Then, Amelia King of Luray, Virginia, stepped up to the podium as the first guest speaker not wearing a mask. For nearly two minutes, she complained about the three-minute time limit that guests were given.
When finally moving on to the topic at hand, she said, “We need to think as a collective county… There’s a lot of science. There’s a lot of good science. You know, the mask protects the person that’s wearing it.”
Unfortunately, King did not appear to grasp that science correctly. Johns Hopkins University states that, while masks protect the wearer, they more importantly protect the people around the wearer. The mask is used to keep respiratory droplets from spreading.
“All right. No mask mandates,” King continued. “My children will not come to school Monday with a mask on. All right. That’s not happening.”
“And I will bring every single gun loaded and ready,” she threatened before being interrupted again by a board member.
“I’ll see y’all on Monday,” King said before leaving the podium.
Earlier in her diatribe, King complained that she had been cut off at another meeting and was threatened with arrest for talking past her time allotment.
She bizarrely equated a paid job with volunteering to speak in a public forum, arguing that time constraints wouldn’t fly in her job as a dental hygienist.
“Working in the dental field,” King huffed, “if somebody has a problem, I don’t just cut them off at 15 minutes.”
The 42-year-old has been working as a dental hygienist at Ruffner Family Dentistry for 15 years. According to public records, her license will expire in May.
When contacted for comment Friday about the threat to bring loaded guns to school, Ruffner Family Dentistry immediately hung up on The Daily Beast.
By Friday afternoon, local police said they’d spoken to the mother and the school district said they would be increasing police patrols around schools on Monday.
In a statement on Facebook, Luray Police said the mother called police to apologize but the Page County Sheriff’s Office and the local district attorney’s office were nevertheless investigating.
“The statement that was made absolutely caused public alarm, the parent that made the statement realized that, and immediately contacted law enforcement to apologize because the statement was not intended the way it was perceived,” the statement said.
“We have been in contact with the parent who made the statement, she is cooperating with law enforcement. This incident is still under investigation and no arrests have been made at this time.”
In a joint statement released Friday, Page County Superintendent Antonia Fox and School Board Chair Megan Gordon said the district did not take King’s comments “lightly.”
“Violence and threats are never acceptable or appropriate. This kind of behavior is not tolerated from our students, faculty, staff, nor will it be tolerated from parents or guests of our school division,” the statement said.
“PCPS is addressing this issue and is in communication with local law enforcement. There will be an increased police presence with support from the Page County Sheriff’s Office. The Luray Police Department will also provide additional police presence at the Luray area schools on Monday.”