A Montgomery County, Va., school board member who has regularly supported mask mandates stomped out of a meeting Tuesday evening after she was shown pictures of her in a crowded room without a mask, according to video of the incident.
The video shows Susan Kass, chairwoman of the Montgomery County Public Schools Board, trying to talk over a parent who was showing other members of the board pictures of Kass allegedly maskless in a crowd. According to WDBJ7, the photos were retrieved from Kass’ Facebook page.
“If you are going to sit there and disparage a member of our school board, you can sit down,” Kass told the parent, according to WDBJ7.
That led Jamie Bond, a fellow board member, to encourage Kass to listen and that the parent “should be able to say her piece.” He also reminded Kass that other parents have criticized various board members in the past, according to the outlet.
However, Kass countered “that doesn’t make it right,” adding: “That’s my family.”
“What do you think about our family? Our family is being suffocated to death with your policies,” the parent retorted, according to WDBJ7.
Kass can be then be heard responding, “I’m done. She leaves or I leave.” Not long afterward, Kass stormed out of the meeting, the outlet added.
Wow! School board freaks out as mom whips out phone to show pictures of the board members maskless online. Love this. pic.twitter.com/cvi6rnHCjL
— Justin Hart (@justin_hart) February 17, 2022
The Daily Caller added:
Kass was a teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools for 11 years and was elected to the school board in 2020, according to her LinkedIn profile.
The school board member told local news outlets that the photos showcased by the speaker were of her vaccinated friends and family in her house.
“Just because you believe in masking in a classroom, with 30 students sitting in a room in close proximity, in a small, not well-ventilated room, asking them to mask there is not the same as saying I need to wear a mask in my house,” Kass told WDBJ7. “The fact they went and trolled my Facebook to find anything they could to disparage me is pretty sad and pretty low.”
Reports noted that the video was taken a night before newly elected GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed legislation that blocked school boards from mandating that students wear masks while also requiring schools to offer in-person classroom instruction five days a week.
Loudoun County Public Schools, meanwhile, announced late Wednesday the end of mask mandates for students.
In a follow-up interview with The Daily Caller, Kass admitted that she should have reacted a different way, but also said the photos being shown by the parent did not adequately demonstrate mask hypocrisy.
“Yes, I wish I had reacted differently. But when someone is scrolling through your personal [Facebook] trying to prove something that isn’t true, and now they are threatening to show photos of your family, you become protective,” Kass said.
“She is trying to paint me as a hypocrite because I spent time with family and friends who are vaccinated and boosted at people’s homes. I have not asked anyone to do something that I haven’t done myself,” she continued.
The board president also said that she believes that the state “could have waited a bit longer” to remove mask mandates, but “the law is the law and we will abide by it.”