Police in Loudoun County arrested two people following a local school board meeting in Virginia that turned unruly, with officials shutting down a public comment period during a heated debate about critical race theory and policy on transgender students.
Authorities said one person was accused of trespassing and issued a summons after refusing to leave school board property and another was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest on Tuesday, local TV station WJLA reported.
Parents attended the Tuesday meeting to voice their opinions on new policies that include allowing transgender students to choose which restrooms they use, in addition to requiring employees to use the students’ preferred names.
A total of 259 parents signed up to express their opinion on the policies at the meeting, but chaos quickly erupted when the mother of one transgender student told the board that “hate” was “dripping from the followers of Jesus in this room,” a shot at Christian parents who oppose the proposals. The comments sparked a chorus of boos and prompted the board to call a five-minute recess.
Two arrests made at the Loudoun County, Virginia school board meeting after it was declared an unlawful assembly and some parents here to protest against critical race theory and a transgender policy refused to leave right away #CriticalRaceTheory pic.twitter.com/dsZDrqJ0Gp
— Gabriella Borter (@gabriellaborter) June 22, 2021
“When the group reconvened, board chair Brenda Sheridan said the nine-member board had voted to end the public comment period if there was another outburst from the audience,” reports Mediaite. “But when former state Sen. Dick Black (R) took the stand to speak against the proposal — and said left-wing residents had been compiling a list of conservative neighbors to publicly shame over the issue — the audience cheered, prompting the board to vote to end the meeting. Attendees heckled the board members and began singing the Star-Spangled Banner as they left the room.”
Police arrested an attendee who said he refused to leave until everyone had a chance to speak, and a second man who they said “displayed aggressive behavior” toward another attendee.
NEW VIDEO from inside the chaotic Loudoun school board meeting. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/tHDyzCz7KE
— Drew Wilder (@DrewWilderTV) June 22, 2021
In a statement after the meeting, Sheridan said she was “concerned about the rise in hateful messages and violent threats aimed at progressive members of the school board,” and added that “opponents of the school board” had “severely hurt our ability to do the jobs we were elected to do.”