School Board Attendees Jeer Student Describing Loss of Grandmother to Covid
Jeer: make rude and mocking remarks, typically in a loud voice.
Central Magnet High School junior Grady Knox had a personal story to share Tuesday night at the Rutherford County, Tennessee, school board meeting. His grandmother, who had been a teacher in the Rutherford public school system, had died from Covid.
“If I get COVID, I’m going to bring it to my family, and I talk to my grandparents a lot. They’re higher risk than me, so I don’t want to give them COVID.
“I’m worried about my family. This time last year, my grandmother, who was a former teacher at the Rutherford County school system, died of COVID because someone wasn’t wearing a mask.”
He was interrupted by adults in the room who jeered as he stood at the podium addressing school board members. After pausing several times as he was shouted down, the school board chairman stepped in to quiet the room, and Grady continued:
“This is an avoidable issue and by not wearing masks in schools, it’s irresponsible. We’re killing people.”
He was at the specially called meeting to express his support of a mask policy as he clearly explained why he felt it was necessary. The video shows what happened as adults in the room audibly disapproved of his comments.
A classmate of Grady’s, Will Severn who is also a junior at Central Magnet, addressed the school board to speak on behalf of wearing masks in schools to stop the spread of Covid:
“This isn’t pushing a political agenda, and this isn’t partisan commentary,” Severn said. “A mask mandate is scientifically one of the most effective ways to kick coronavirus in our schools.”
Central Magnet School is located in Murfreesboro, the government seat of Rutherford County, 30 miles southeast of Nashville.
Since the pandemic began, Tennessee has recorded 1,109,923 cases and 13,714 deaths. In the past week they surpassed their previous high number of cases during the winter of 2020.
Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has said he believes parents are the best ones to decide whether their children should wear masks in school. He backed that up by “signing an executive order in mid-August allowing parents to opt their kids out of district-issued mask mandates. His order has gained backlash from parents and schools alike.”
However, some school systems have had to close to battle the number of cases they are dealing with including Rutherford County where 10,000 students had to be quarantined last week. Currently they have 1,266 active cases of Covid, a 17.54 percent positivity rate, according to the CDC.
Not all schools are listening to the Governor:
Metro Nashville Public Schools has defied the governor’s order, saying students are still required to wear face coverings in Nashville schools to protect each other from spreading the highly-contagious Delta variant.
Meanwhile, in western Virginia, Bath County schools have shut down until September 17 due to high Covid cases, and neighboring Highland County schools have delayed opening school until the first of October. Other school systems are also grappling with rising Covid cases.
The Rutherford County school board meeting adjourned Tuesday night without taking a vote on the mask issue.