Police in Virginia have charged a mother who threatened to bring loaded guns to her children’s campus during a public school board meeting in protest of mask mandates.
The Luray Police Department announced that 42-year-old Amelia King would be charged with oral threat on school property. King was captured Thursday on a video broadcast for the Page County Public Schools school board, which was considering a vote on mandating masks for students, stating, “My children will not come to school on Monday with a mask on … I will bring every single gun loaded and ready.”
The statement immediately caused board members to react. Page County school leaders announced that they planned to have a heavier police presence on campuses in the following days, and released a statement condemning King’s actions.
“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,” they wrote.
The board ultimately voted to leave it up to parents as to whether their children would wear a mask to school.
King later wrote an apology to the school board, which was read aloud at the meeting.
“I in no way meant to imply all guns loaded as in actual firearms, but rather all resources I can muster to make sure my children get to attend schools without masks,” she wrote. “Sincere apologies for my poor choice in words.”
According to the police announcement, the court released King on a $5,000 bond, which many on social media expressed dissatisfaction with.
“You released someone on a $5k bond who threatened to shoot up a school? That doesn't seem appropriate,” a commenter wrote on Facebook in response to the police announcement.
Some expressed concerns for more potential threats in the future.
“If she had tried this nonsense in an airport she would be in serious trouble. This absolutely should not be tolerated or dismissed with an ‘oopsie, I misspoke.’ What happens if she spins herself up again by Monday?” another commenter wrote.
Mask mandates in schools continue to draw heated debate as states like Virginia have started to reverse blanket decisions around masking guidelines, leaving it up to individuals.