In Rutherford County, Tennessee, a schoolboard meeting was held to discuss the use of facemasks in schools to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. A video from this meeting is going viral on Twitter with over two million views.
Grady Knox, a student in the Rutherford County school district, spoke from the heart in his public comment during the board's meeting. Knox is in favor of the mask mandate.
He started by sharing he does not want to bring COVID home to his family and his surviving grandparents who are at a higher risk than he is.
"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 immediately interrupted by laughing and heckling from adult attendees.
Two women could be seen sitting behind him, unmasked, snickering to themselves. They held signs that said "Let our kids smile."
Knox tried to continue his speech but was repeatedly interrupted. Someone was heard yelling "Shut up."
The schoolboard chairman stepped in.
"Hey guys, we're here to act professional."
Eventually, Knox was given the chance to finish.
"This is a completely avoidable issue and by not wearing masks in schools, it's irresponsible."
"We're killing people."
"This is not something that we should be doing for the education of our students."
Knox—who attends Central Magnet School—was in disbelief over what happened.
He told News 4 Nashville:
"It was complete insanity from my perspective."
"If they laugh at me about a personal story about my grandmother, that's just disrespectful, I feel."
"So, I was like shaken a little bit."
Schoolboard member Claire Maxwell was feeling similarly. She claimed it was not a reflection of Rutherford County.
"We all wholeheartedly, all seven of us, were ashamed about what happened and we want to make sure nothing like that ever happens again."
Twitter is fuming over the behavior of these adults, but also praising the bravery and strength of our youth today.
Knox hopes his message still got across.
"I hope that they can see that there's people like me that want to see change and look past all of the hecklers."
"As long as I can get my message across, I don't really think it matters what the crowd thinks of me. Overall, they're not the ones making the decisions for the school."
The schoolboard said they are going to make a formal statement about what happened at their Thursday meeting.