BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A heated moment that occurred earlier this week at a Montgomery County School Board meeting is now getting attention on the national level.
On Thursday, Feb. 17, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) retweeted a right-wing podcaster who discussed the argument that erupted during a school board meeting in Montgomery County on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
Parent Alecia Vaught says the drama at Tuesday’s event boils down to hypocrisy among school board members.
“They said we must follow Governor Northam’s executive order, so we had to. This year, a new governor comes into the office and they suddenly don’t want to follow the executive orders,” said Vaught.
In the previous school board meeting earlier this month, Vaught says she and The Second Monday Constitution Group — of which she is the founder — sat in the front row of the room and took their masks off in protest. Montgomery County School Board Chairwoman Sue Kass reportedly yelled at them during that interaction.
However, Tuesday’s argument between Kass and Vaught was a little more personal than that.
According to Kass, she has been receiving mean emails and phone calls regarding her position on the school board.
“It was very much pointed at me and pointed at trying to disparage me to get me to leave the school board,” said Kass.
Vaught says it’s about allowing parents to choose what is best for their children and not defying the governor’s orders.
On Wednesday, Feb. 16, Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a new law that requires schools to make masks optional no later than March 1.
Vaught says she feels that the governor’s decision put the power back in parents’ hands.
“I am not right-wing. I am trying to do the right thing. I am doing the right thing for our kids, and I’m standing up and calling out hypocrisy when there is hypocrisy because we are all tired of it — it’s rules for thee and not for me,” said Vaught.
However, Kass disagrees with Vaught, saying it is about respect.
“She used a forum that is supposed to be for a community to express their concerns about the school, students, and staff, and she used that forum for her political purposes,” said Kass.
In an interview with Vaught, WFXR News’ Kelsey Jean-Baptiste asked the parent about the purpose of her speech.
Vaught says it was never to attack Kass, adding that she came with the specific intentions to say her piece and call out multiple board members on their hypocrisy.
For example, Vaught says she was going to call out Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Miear for mandating implicit bias training for all of the district’s teachers.
According to Vaught, she was fighting for the rights of families, as well as for change. She says she wants to see fighters in the school board seats.
“They need to listen to the parents. We are the parents, we dictate how they grow up, how they get educated, and we pay the taxes for those schools to get built. We pay these salaries, we elect these board members onto the boards,” said Vaught.
However, Kass wants to stress that she and the school board members do care about the community, students, and parents.
“We need to realize that people on the school boards are volunteers to want to serve our community,” said Kass.
You can watch a full recording of Tuesday night’s Montgomery County School Board meeting by clicking here.