Disruptions and ‘affidavits’ halt another Loudoun Co. school board meeting

Exam paper with pen and eraser.(Getty Images/iStockphoto/Gulcin Ragiboglu)

The battle over masks in schools is being waged in courtrooms, legislative chambers and school board meetings — and Tuesday night, parents upset with the current rules in Loudoun County, Virginia, used words like “corrupt” and “schoolyard bullies” to describe the actions of the district’s leaders.

Not every public comment was someone weighing in on the issue, but those who did speak didn’t hold back their opinions, which often included insults directed at the school board.

The meeting ground to a halt at the end of Rene Camp’s allotted speaking time. When the buzzer went off, she yelled out “children, deliver the affidavits,” and those who were there to express anti-masking sentiment burst into applause.

That led a group of kids, some dressed in full Boy Scout uniforms, to deliver boxes of papers described as “affidavits” to the board, while Camp and other parents yelled out that the board was “being served.”

It is unclear what the papers were and what kind of legal authority they carried with them, nor was it explained what the board was being served with. In fact, board chair Jeff Morse yelled out at one point, “I am not being served,” before the meeting was recessed.

Eventually, a spokesperson for the board was given the boxes so school leaders could sort them out.

The disruption comes even as the state legislature appeared to be moving closer to ditching mask mandates and making them optional for parents. A couple of hours after the outburst, near the end of the meeting, Superintendent Scott Ziegler noted the downward trends in all the metrics they follow, including attendance, and said Loudoun County was preparing a policy that would allow kids to unmask in schools.

“When we fall below 50 isolated, remain below that number for 14 days and community transmission and percent positivity fall below substantial and remain there for 14 days,” said Ziegler, “I think, at that point, we can say we’re in a COVID decline and it would be impractical to continue our mask mandates.”

He said those guidelines were being established in concert with the director of the Loudoun County Health Department.

“I think until then, it’s a wise decision to continue our stringent COVID guidelines and mitigation efforts,” added Ziegler. “They’re keeping students in school.”

More Coronavirus News

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John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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