Virginia mom charged after gun comment over school mask rules
"I will bring every single gun loaded and ready," the parent said during a school board discussion on student mask requirements
A Virginia woman was charged Friday after declaring to school board officials she would “bring every single gun loaded” in response to mask mandates for students.
According to the Luray Police Department, Amelia King, 42, has been charged with violating a state code prohibiting oral threats while on school property, and was later released on a $5,000 bond.
Page County public school board members met Thursday to vote on Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order making masks a choice for students, with King among the community members in attendance to give public comment on the controversial matter.
“No mask mandates,” King said to the board after being notified that her three-minute window for comment had ended.
“My child, my children will not come to school on Monday with a mask on, alright. That’s not happening, and I will bring every single gun loaded and ready,” King continued, adding “I’ll see y’all Monday” after being cut off once again by a board member.
King later emailed the board apologizing for her “poor choice of words” in a note read aloud by a board member before the meeting concluded.
“I in no way meant to imply ‘all guns loaded’ as in actual firearms, but rather all resources I can muster to make sure that my children get to attend school without masks,” King’s email read. “My sincere apologies for my poor choice in words.”
King reiterated in a follow-up email that she was only “speaking figuratively” and claimed to have notified law enforcement and news outlets about the comment herself.
Per NBC News, Luray Police Chief Bo Cook confirmed on Friday that King had contacted the department to apologize, but maintained that King’s comments “absolutely caused public alarm” and remained under investigation by authorities.
“Last night at our School Board meeting during the Citizen Comment period there were comments made that referenced weapons and were perceived by many to be threatening in nature,” Page County public school officials wrote in a joint statement released Friday.
“Not only do comments such as these go against everything we wish to model for our students, they go against the very nature of how we as a community should interact with each other. Violence and threats are never acceptable or appropriate. This kind of behavior is not tolerated from our students, faculty, staff, nor will it be tolerated by parents or guests of our school division,” officials wrote.
Per the statement, Page County public schools will increase police presence in buildings through Monday as a result of King’s comments, with assistance from the county sheriff’s office and a local police department.
Chief Cook remained in contact with state and federal officials regarding the incident amid his office’s investigation of King’s comments, according to school officials.
The board on Thursday ultimately voted 4-2 to lift former Gov. Ralph Northam’s in-school mask mandate in favor of Youngkin’s new directive to leave the option up to students and families, effective Monday, per the Winchester Star.
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