Police in New Hampshire arrested a Sunday school teacher after she and other parents showed up at a school board meeting without masks to urge the district to lift its mask mandate.
Kate Bossi, who's also a mother of a student in the district, was arrested Thursday night from the Timberlane Regional School Board’s meeting at the district’s Performing Arts Center in Plaistow, The Washington Examiner reported Friday.
Some of Bossi's Sunday school students also attended the meeting and were said to have cried after seeing her arrested for disorderly conduct and escorted out of the building in handcuffs.
“You are violating my rights right now. You are remiss,” Bossi was quoted as telling police as they arrested her from the meeting that was to discuss the mask-wearing policy for schools, the Examiner said. The meeting was subsequently canceled and rescheduled online.
“Are you seriously doing this you guys. This is law enforcement. You’re not enforcing laws, you’re enforcing policy. That doesn’t matter,” Bossi’s daughter, Jackie Wydola, was quoted as telling the officers.
Board Chairwoman Kimberly Farah sought to explain the necessity for the arrest by saying, “I didn’t want to jeopardize the health of the staff and the students,” according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Wydola said her mother “didn’t really have any interaction with the officer” before they arrested her.
“She just walked into the building, and when they realized that she had come into the auditorium they followed her in here,” she said.
Some studies have indicated that mask-wearing might have negative impacts on emotional and mental wellbeing. And though children can contract COVID-19, most have no symptoms or experience mild symptoms, Harvard Health Publishing reported.
Last month, a Georgia mother’s emotional plea at a school board meeting in the metro-Atlanta area to end a mask mandate made waves nationwide.
Courtney Ann Taylor, a mother of three, petitioned the Gwinnett County Board of Education to “take these masks off my child” in a video that circulated widely on social media. “Every month, I come here and hear the same things — social, emotional health,” Taylor said. “If you truly mean that, you would end the mask requirement tonight.”
Taylor is the mother of a 2-year-old, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old kindergarten student who complained about having to wear a mask day after day. “It’s April 15, 2021, and it’s time. Take these masks off of my child,” Taylor said as applause broke out at the meeting.
She also launched a change.org petition calling on Gwinnett County Public Schools to make masks optional for K-12 students.
Thirty-two Republican lawmakers have also sent a letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to question how the agency determined children over 2 years old should wear masks to stop the spread of the virus.