Susan Kass is the chairperson of the Montgomery County School Board in Virginia who stormed out of a heated meeting when a parent shared photos she said showed Kass not wearing a mask.
The moment was caught on video, which has gone viral. You can see the video later in this article.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin recently signed Senate Bill 739, giving parents the power to opt out of local school mask mandates beginning March 1.
The new law reads, in part:
The parent of any child enrolled in a public elementary or secondary school, or in any school-based early childhood care and education program, may elect for such child to not wear a mask while on school property. A parent making such an election shall not be required to provide a reason or any certification of the child’s health or education status.
The bill also includes provisions requiring schools to provide in-person instruction — as opposed to remote, virtual instruction — “for at least the minimum number of required annual instructional hours.”
A conservative podcaster named Benny Johnson shared the video on Twitter, writing, “School Board MELTS DOWN on Camera as Tiger Mom EXPOSES Maskless Pictures of Them on Her Phone. They Had No IDEA What Would Happen Next…”
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, then retweeted that post, helping send the video viral. “These petty authoritarians believe they are UNACCOUNTABLE to the People. They are wrong,” Cruz tweeted.
Here’s what you need to know:
Kass Left the Meeting When the Parent Showed Photos From Kass’ Facebook Page
The parent in the video introduces herself as Alecia Vaught. The video shows Vaught calling out Kass and raising a cellphone to show photos from Kass’ Facebook page. Vaught said the photos showed Kass without a mask on.
“Miss Kass, you also yelled at me the last time I was here for taking off my mask, but here’s a picture of you, right here on Facebook, with a crowd of people with no mask on,” Vaught said.
“If you are going to sit there and disparage a member of our school board, then you can sit down,” said Kass in the video. She then asked for a police officer to come into the meeting. The officer walked up and stood next to Vaught.
“She should be able to say her piece, I’ve had to listen to people come and criticize me,” school board member Jamie Bond says in the video. Kass responded, “That doesn’t make it right, Jamie, that’s my family.”
Vaught retorted: “What do you think about our family? Our family is being suffocated to death with your policies.”
“I’m done,” Kass said. “She leaves or I leave.” Kass then walked out of the room and left the meeting, as Vaught declared, “We’re coming for your seats.”
Kass later told WDBJ 7 that the pictures were of vaccinated family members and friends in her home, saying:
Just because you believe in masking in a classroom, with 30 students sitting in a room in close proximity, in a small not well-ventilated room, asking them to mask there is not the same as saying I need to wear a mask in my house. The fact they went and trolled my Facebook to find anything they could to disparage me is pretty sad and pretty low.
Kass Told a Local Television Station That Vaught Used the Forum for ‘Her Political Purposes,’ But Vaught Says She Was ‘Doing the Right Thing for Our Kids’
Vaught spoke with WXFR about the confrontation.
“They said we must follow Governor Northam’s executive order, so we had to. This year, a new governor comes into the office and they suddenly don’t want to follow the executive orders,” Vaught told the television station, which reported that Vaught is the founder of The Second Monday Constitution Group.
Kass told the television station that she has been receiving “mean” emails and phone calls, saying, “It was very much pointed at me and pointed at trying to disparage me to get me to leave the school board.”
Kass told WFXR of Vaught, “She used a forum that is supposed to be for a community to express their concerns about the school, students, and staff, and she used that forum for her political purposes.”
However, Vaught told the television station, “I am not right-wing. I am trying to do the right thing. I am doing the right thing for our kids, and I’m standing up and calling out hypocrisy when there is hypocrisy because we are all tired of it — it’s rules for thee and not for me.”
Here is the entire video of the school board meeting. Vaught takes the mic around the 22-minute mark.
Kass Works as a Human Resources Generalist
The board’s website gives this information for Kass:
Term Expires: 2023. First term began in 2020.
Board Assignments: Board of Supervisors Liaison and Town of Blacksburg Liaison
Career: Human Resources Generalist, Virginia Tech National Security Institute
Education: Graduated from Rutgers University
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