Two mothers who oppose school mask mandates and Critical Race Theory in their children’s curricula were arrested Thursday at a school board meeting in Georgia.
The arrests happened one right after another near a security checkpoint with brand new metal detectors at the Gwinnett County Public Schools district headquarters, just before a school board meeting began.
The Gwinnett County school district, just northeast of Atlanta, is the largest in the state and serves more than 180,000 students.
The first woman to be arrested, Karen Pirkle, showed up at the security checkpoint without a face mask and was charged with violating a criminal trespass warning. Pirkle, a Snellville resident, had been issued the trespass warning last month after she flouted the district’s mask mandate and refused to wear a face covering during an October school board meeting.
At that meeting, several other parents joined Pirkle in taking off their masks and chanting, “unmask our children.” The meeting ended early, and Pirkle was banned from attending school board meetings for a year.
“After misbehavior at the last meeting, a criminal trespass warning was issued, and that’s a letter that basically explains you’re not allowed to come on GCPS property,” said Sloan Roach, a spokeswoman for the school district. “That was communicated with her and then she showed up tonight still attempting to come to the meeting, so she violated that order.”
The second mom, who was arrested moments later, said she had no intention of stirring the pot.
Brenda Stewart, a Suwanee resident, said she tried to help Pirkle while the latter was being arrested. Stewart said that as Pirkle was being handcuffed, she called out for someone to take her phone, and Stewart offered to take the phone to Pirkle’s husband. The two women did not previously know each other.
Stewart placed her purse on the security table and walked through one of the metal detectors to take Pirkle’s phone, but security officers stopped her over a pair of childproof kindergarten scissors she used for crocheting and had in her purse.
The security officer dug through her purse and held up the small pair of scissors, saying Stewart could not take them inside. Stewart reached out to show the officer that the blades were not real blades, at which point the officer “aggressively” yanked the scissors back, Stewart said. Stewart tugged back instinctively with “no forethought or malice,” she said. At that point, she said, another security officer behind her grabbed her, and officers slammed her against the wall. She was accused of scratching the officer with the scissors, a claim she called “patently false.”
Police arrested Stewart and charged her with willful obstruction of a law enforcement officer.
Both moms were both handcuffed for hours and thrown in jail, where they remained until about midnight. They were each fined $1300.
Source: The Daily Wire