A parent was arrested after threatening to bring loaded guns to school if they enforced a mask rule for her children.
On Thursday, Amelia Ruffner King addressed the Page County School Board at a meeting held to discuss Virginia's newly-sworn Governor Glenn Youngkin's controversial executive order that allowed parents to ignore mask mandates for their children.
King, who was one of four speakers at the meeting, said:
“No mask mandates. My child—my children—will not come to school Monday with a mask on, alright? That’s not happening."
“And I will bring every single gun loaded and ready,” she said before being cut off for passing the allotted three-minute mark.
"I'll see y'all on Monday," King said as she gathered her papers and left the lectern.
You can watch a news report, here.
At 7 pm on Friday, the Luray Police Department announced the consequences of King's threat at the board meeting.
"Luray Police Department has charged Amelia Ruffner King, a 42-year-old female, with a violation of the Code of Virginia 18.2-60 Oral Threat While on School Property," read the department's Facebook post.
People debated what constituted a threat in her case.
Others stressed her remark was not to be taken lightly.
The department added King—who has been "cooperative"—has since been released "on a $5,000.00 unsecured bond."
King later emailed the school board a statement of apology which was read during the meeting by school board member Amy Painter.
"I in no way meant to imply 'all guns loaded' as in actual firearms, but rather all resources I can muster to make sure that my children get to attend school without masks. My sincere apologies for my poor choice in words," wrote King.
The Page County School Board voted 4-2 in favor of giving parents the mask-wearing option for their children.
Youngkin said mask mandates in schools had proven “ineffective and impractical,” and parents should have the “ability to decide whether their child should wear masks for the duration of the school day.”
The constitutionality of Youngkin's order was targeted in a lawsuit filed on Monday by seven Virginia school districts.
The Falls Church board said in a released statement that the suit “defends the right of school boards to enact policy at the local level, including policies that protect the health and well-being of all students and staff.”
In addition to protecting students and staff from COVID-19, Prince William County School Board Chairman Babur Lateef said it was the system’s “highest priority to have students learning in-person” and it was important "that school boards retain their local decisional authority to take actions deemed necessary for the safety of their school community."
Youngkin defended his mask-optional directive, saying:
“We will continue to protect parents’ fundamental right to make decisions with regard to their child’s upbringing, education and care.”