A woman in Virginia has been charged after she threatened to bring loaded guns to school as part of a protest against rules that would have required her children wear face masks. The Luray Police Department said Amelia King, 42, was charged with making an oral threat on school property and has since been released on a $5,000 bond.
The alleged threat took place during a Page County Public Schools board meeting on Thursday night, where members debated whether face masks would continue to be required at the district’s schools. “My children will not come to school on Monday with a mask on,” King told the board. “Alright? That’s not happening. And I will bring every single gun loaded and ready to… I will call every…” King was cut off for going over her time limit. “I’ll see y’all on Monday,” she added.
Later in the meeting, a member of the school board read an emailed statement from King in which she apologized for her choice of words. “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,” she said. “My sincere apologies for my poor choice in words.”
Despite the apology, the Page County school superintendent and school board chair put out a statement saying the threats would be taken seriously. “Not only do comments such as these go against everything we wish to model for our students, they go against the very nature of how we as a community should interact with each other,” the statement read. “This kind of behavior is not tolerated from our students, faculty, staff, nor will it be tolerated by parents or guests of our school division.” The school board said there would be more police presence at schools as a result of the threats.
In the end, the school board voted 4-2 to leave it up to parents to decide whether to send their kids to school with a mask. In his first day in office on Jan. 15, new Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order saying parents could decide whether their children had to wear face masks in schools. As written, the order allows parents to disregard any mask mandates in schools without providing a reason.