MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A Tennessee high school student calling for mandatory mask-wearing in his school was interrupted by laughing adults while speaking about his grandmother, who died of COVID-19, at a school board meeting on Sept. 7.
The video showed high school junior Grady Knox addressing the board discussing the school mask policy in Murfreesboro. Knox outlined his concerns, including bringing the virus home to his family.
"This time last year, my grandmother, who was a former teacher at the Rutherford County school system, died of COVID because someone wasn't wearing a mask," Knox said during his speech.
As Knox spoke of his grandmother’s death, some adults in the crowd began to smirk, laugh and heckle the student.
While trying to continue his speech, people in the audience behind him continued to jeer.
One school board chairman could be heard intervening and calling out the hecklers, saying, "Guys, we’re here to act professional."
But this is not the first incident in schools and at board meetings involving protests of COVID-19 mandates and policies as the highly transmissible delta variant continues to drive up infections, filling some children’s hospitals and pediatric ICUs to the brink.
Last month, another school board meeting in Tennessee garnered national attention when board members voted in favor of a new mask mandate.
The meeting was marked by protests and chants from anti-mask activists, and outside the meeting, crowds of demonstrators rallied in opposition to the mandate.
Once the meeting ended, mask supporters were greeted outside the building by anti-maskers chanting "we’ll not comply" and "no more masks." One demonstrator shouted there was a "place in hell" for those in favor of masks.
And last week, an Arizona father was arrested after he and two others threatened to make a citizen's arrest on a principal over a school's COVID-19 protocols.
One of the men recorded the event on Instagram live, sharing his anger at the situation and threatening to use zip ties in the video. He shows the zip ties in the video.
"I had three large men in my office, and, one of them was blocking my doorway with large military zip ties," Vargo shared. "I was terrified."
The school board did not immediately respond to FOX Television Stations’ request for comment.