A Virginia mother was charged on Friday after saying at a school board meeting that she would “bring every single gun loaded and ready” to fight mandatory masks for her children. Amelia King later apologized to the board via email, stating that she was not referring to “actual firearms.”
According to the Luray Police Department, King, 42, was charged with making an oral threat on school grounds. According to the department, she has since been released on a $5,000 bond.
King was caught on camera making the remarks at a Page County Public Schools board meeting on Thursday night, where members voted on whether face masks would continue to be required in the district’s schools. “I’ll see you all on Monday,” she said when she was told she had run out of time to speak.
Later in the meeting, a member of the school board read an emailed statement from King in which she apologized for her phrasing.
“I in no way meant to imply all loaded guns as in actual firearms,” she clarified, “but rather all resources I can muster to ensure that my children can attend school without masks.” “Please accept my sincere apologies for my poor word choice.”
Despite this, school officials condemned the threat, stating that the district “does not take these kinds of statements lightly.” Superintendent Antonia M. Fox and school board chair Megan Gordon both stated that there would be an increased police presence at all district schools on Friday and Monday.
“Comments like these not only contradict everything we want to model for our students, but they also contradict the very nature of how we as a community should interact with one another,” Fox and Gordon said in a joint statement Friday. “Threats and violence are never acceptable or appropriate. This type of behavior will not be tolerated by our students, faculty, or staff, nor will it be tolerated by our school division’s parents or visitors.”
The Luray Police Department, the Page County Sheriff’s Office, and the Page County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office all stated that they were looking into the incident.
“The statement made absolutely caused public alarm,” police said in a statement released Friday. “The parent who made the statement was aware of this and immediately contacted law enforcement to apologize because the statement was not intended in the manner in which it was perceived.”
According to the police department, it “has also contacted state and federal law enforcement agencies regarding this incident.”
Board members called the special meeting on Thursday to vote on Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s executive order, which allows parents to choose whether or not their children wear face masks to school. Youngkin issued the order this week, granting parents “the fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care of their children.”