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Proud Boys Are Teaming Up With Anti-Maskers to Threaten School Boards Over COVID Mandates

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Outside a school board meeting in Franklin, Tennessee on Tuesday night, a crowd gathered around masked meeting-goers as they exited the building. “You are child abusers!” one member of the crowd shouted. “There’s a bad place in hell and everybody’s taking notes, buddy!”

“We will find you and we know who you are!” another shouted through a mask-wearing man’s car window.

“You will never be allowed in public again!” an anti-mask man called.

An hour away, in Nashville, similar tensions were simmering at another school board meeting, where a conservative commentator—who does not have children enrolled in that school district—criticized masks as “child abuse.” Days earlier, in North Carolina, a school board meeting over masking devolved into chaos after attendees attempted to “overthrow” the officials and install themselves as a new board. And members of the far-right paramilitary group the Proud Boys have attended contentious school board meetings about masking in Florida and New Hampshire.

As America’s K-12 schools return from summer vacation, board meetings are devolving into schoolyard brawls over masks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends indoor masking for students as the COVID-19 Delta variant sweeps the country. Complicating that recommendation are a series of sometimes-conflicting state and local guidelines regarding whether a school can require students to wear masks. Often, school boards have been left to make their own decisions about mask mandates, risking reprisals from state governments—Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently threatened to sue schools that require masks. The discussions have invoked all the baggage of the country’s year-and-a-half-long mask debate, with........

© The Daily Beast

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