In the post on the department’s Facebook page, authorities said Amelia King, 42 of Luray, was charged Friday afternoon with making a verbal threat while on school grounds.
A magistrate released her on a $5,000 unsecured bond.
The board of directors had debated Covid-19 mitigation measures as the Omicron wave continues to cause significant community transference, and in light of one of the executive orders issued by new Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin.
On January 15, his first day in office, Youngkin issued an executive order stating that parents could decide whether their children should wear face masks at school.
During the public comment section of the meeting, a response from one of the four Page County residents who spoke became confrontational.
“My children will not come to school on Monday with a mask on,” King told the Board of Directors. “Okay? That won’t happen. And I’ll bring every weapon loaded and ready to… I’ll bring every…”
King was then cut off for going over the three-minute time limit, and she replied, “See you Monday.”
In response to the comments, the Page County school principal and school board president issued a statement saying they would not take the comments lightly.
“Not only do comments like this go against everything we want to model for our students, they go against the very nature of how we should interact as a community,” the statement read. “This kind of behavior will not be tolerated by our students, teachers, staff, nor will it be tolerated by parents or guests of our school department.”
As a result of the comments, the school board said they would increase police presence in schools on Friday and Monday.
“Luray Police Chief Bo Cook is investigating the incident and is in contact with the Commonwealth Attorney, as well as state and federal officials,” the statement said.
In an email to the board, read aloud at the end of the meeting, King apologized and said she was “hurt.”
“I in no way meant all the guns loaded like in real firearms, but rather all the resources I can muster to ensure my kids can go to school without masks,” she reportedly said in the email. “I would never do such a thing; I spoke figuratively.”
King said in the email that she contacted the sheriff’s office to explain herself.
DailyExpertNews contacted King for comment, but did not receive an immediate response. During her speech, King noted that she has spoken at school board meetings before and the comments were unprepared.
“I like to sound well-educated and when I go wild I get really passionate,” she said. “I’m not always able to say exactly what I want to say.”
DailyExpertNews also contacted Luray Police Department, the Commonwealth Attorney of Page County and Gov’s office. Youngkin for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.
The board ultimately decided in a 4-2 vote to “mask the parent’s choice”. Masks would be mandatory for all staff and everyone on school buses.
However, parents must sign an “opt-out form” if they do not want their children to wear masks at school. The board will still require students returning from quarantine to be masked regardless of parental choice.