SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - About 200 people gathered outside of the Scottsdale Unified School Board Meeting. The Governing Board convened in-person but only allowed speakers to come in one at a time during public comment. Almost 50 people signed up to speak to the board. The majority spoke out against the mask mandate that the board voted on last week.
"The kids are not using masks outside the school, so they have no way to figure it out how the kids got COVID," said Rissel, a parent. "If you have no way to prove that the mask is really helping when the rest of the day they are without a mask and visiting friends and having extracurricular activities which are not using masks, doesn't make any sense."
However, some people used their time to thank the Governing Board. "I just wanted to come in and say thank you for doing a mask mandate and for your bravery. I know you're not hearing a lot of that today. It's scary out there. I can see why people don't want to come. I just wanted to say thank you for following the science and listening to the majority of people. Nobody wants to get COVID or long haul COVID," said one of the parent speakers. "Know there are a lot of people backing you and we will continue to back you."
However, some parents were also upset during tonight's meeting after the board president was caught cursing on a hot mic after a public comment. One parent said they were mad he acted unprofessionally after the public speakers were told to stay calm. The board president eventually apologized during the meeting.
Outside of school grounds at Coronado High School, where the SUSD meeting was being held, parents set up tables for a petition aimed at recalling four board members.
"We want to recall the board members. If the board members don't want to work with the parents, they should not be there, that simple," Rissel said. "We want them to listen to us. Lindsey, the guy who is not in the petition, he took the time to listen to us--the other ones didn't."
Last week, the Governing Board held a special meeting to talk about virtual learning tools and the mask mandate. Some parents were mad they didn't get to sound off and felt like the school silenced them. SUSD sent a letter to parents and staff, explaining the difference between public hearings and public comment. During special meetings, like last week's, they are not required to take public comments under the Arizona Open Meetings Law.
They will need to get 21,000 signatures from SUSD members for each board member for a recall to be considered.