VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — In the weeks following two contentious school board meetings in Virginia Beach, two women have received formal warnings about their behavior during public meetings.
Failure to cease the disruption will result in them being prohibited from attending other school board meetings, according to the letters.
The letters were sent by School Board Chair Carolyn Rye and division Chief of Staff Dr. Donald E. Robertson on Aug. 18. They reference two boarding meetings — July 20 and Aug. 10 — in which the women were disruptive.
During those meetings, the board discussed masks and whether they should be mandatory in Virginia Beach City Public Schools facilities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — an issue that’s proven volatile across the country as school divisions prepare to return to in-person learning.
The letter claims one woman repeatedly yelled out “arrest me, arrest me, America’s watching,” when she was not authorized to speak, as well as when she was speaking on formal agenda items. She was also an organizer of a rally against mandatory masks that was held before the July 20 meeting.
The letter claims the other woman gave the middle finger during the Aug. 10 meeting and yelled “f–k you,” after which school staff intervened and asked her to refrain from that conduct and leave the meeting.
BELOW: Watch the full Aug. 10 Virginia Beach School Board meeting.
The two letters from Rye use firm language warning the women that if their behavior continues, they will no longer be allowed to attend the meetings.
The letters each contain warning paragraphs: “School Board Bylaw 1-48 sets forth the rules for decorum and order during School Board Meetings, and copies of the Bylaw are included with the agenda, are posted in the lobby to the School Board Chambers, and are posted in School Board Chambers. Additionally, during School Board Meetings, decorum and order rules are gone over prior to public comment sections.”
The letters continue: “Should you violate any of the rules of decorum in any future School Board Meeting, you may be excluded from attendance in all future School Board Meetings.”
10 On Your Side obtained the two letters through a Freedom of Information Act request.