Meeting chaos: Scottsdale Unified School Board ends meeting when attendees refuse to wear masks

A Scottsdale Unified School District board meeting came to an abrupt end on the night of May 18 after board members became upset with attendees who refused to wear masks.

"It is moved and seconded that the Governing Board recess," said Scottsdale Unified School District Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg, to screams and chants of "new board," during the May 18 meeting.

"It's really disappointing to me that on a night where we had intended so much student success, we have had people in this room who have refused to comply with the school district's expectations for masks," one board member said.

"What I quickly saw occurring, and what our administration quickly saw occurring, was intimidation and concern for physical safety," said Greenburg.

Over 100 people were in attendance during the meeting, and prior to the start of the meeting, a flyer inviting people to speak out against several issues was circulated.

"There were a lot of parents there, and a lot of parents weren’t wanting to wear the masks and put them on. But it was not about the masks, more it was about standing up for parent's rights," said Amy Carney with Arizona Parents Rights and Education. "We wouldn't have had this issue if our mask mandate had been lifted in Scottsdale Unified as well, so a lot of parents, I think, were pushing back on that."

Superintendent Scott Menzel later sent out a statement saying the district understands different opinions on masks, but they will do what they believe is safest for students and staff.

Scottsdale Unified is planning another board meeting to take care of business and recognize student achievements. Details are still in the works, but the board is considering moving the meeting to a larger venue.

"Other alternatives being discussed is having separate rooms where the audience is allowed to sit and watch, separated by whether they want to wear masks or not wear masks, and then be brought in for the public comment section," said Greenburg.

Scottsdale Unified's mask mandate is set to remain in place until the end of the school year, on May 27.

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