A Sunday School teacher in New Hampshire was arrested Thursday after she and several other parents showed up to a school board meeting without masks to demand an end to the school’s mask mandate policy.
When Kate Bossi of Atkinson, New Hampshire, attempted to walk into the auditorium where the Timberlane Regional School Board meeting was scheduled to take place, police swarmed her and arrested her for alleged disorderly conduct, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Bossi’s daughter, Jackie Wydola, recorded her mother’s arrest while it happened shortly after the meeting was scheduled to begin.
Chairwoman Kimberly Farah shut the meeting down before it started and ordered it to be held remotely. “I didn’t want to jeopardize the health of the staff and the students,” she said.
“You are violating my rights right now. You are remiss,” Bossi said as Sgt. Alec Porter and the other officers grabbed her, cuffed her, and removed her from the building.
“Come on, Sergeant Porter,” one of the fathers who were with her shouted. “You know this is wrong, what they’re doing to our kids.”
“Are you seriously doing this, you guys?” Wydola asked the officers. “This is law enforcement. You’re not enforcing laws, you’re enforcing policy. That doesn’t matter.”
Wydola said her mother “didn’t really have any interaction with the officer. She just walked into the building, and when they realized that she had come into the auditorium they followed her in here.”
One mother scolded the police as they led Bossi away, telling them her children were crying outside because they were seeing their Sunday School teacher being arrested.
“We have every right to be here,” the mother told the Union Leader. “I get it’s scary, but that should not dictate our right to be here.” She also said she would not have brought her children to the meeting if she had known they would “face that kind of aggression.”
“I came here pretty calm and now I’m trying to calm down,” she added.
At least one school board member agrees with the protesting parents, telling the Union Leader, “Kids are going to be going to the prom in two days. It would be nice to have them be able to enjoy it without a mask. You know? They all got screwed last year.”
Masks for school children have proven controversial, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children aged 2 and older wear them. Several states, such as Florida and Texas, have gotten rid of face mask mandates, and other states are expected to do so this summer.
New Hampshire has had a total of 98,091 cases of COVID-19 with 1,341 deaths as of May 21, according to The New York Times.