A Wednesday night meeting for the Spokane Public School board lasted precisely one minute and forty-two seconds.
At 7 PM, board president Jerrall Haynes opened the meeting, mentioned there were several items on the agenda as well as public testimony and then asked in-person attendees who were not wearing masks to put them on.
Last week, Democrat Governor Jay Inslee reimposed indoor mask mandates in Washington, regardless of vaccination status, which began on Monday. However, there are exemptions for small groups of vaccinated individuals. According to attendees, there were approximately 50 people in person, and they were not asked for their vaccine status.
On the board meeting video, attendees can be heard refusing. Almost immediately, Haynes gaveled the meeting to a close and walked out of the room, followed by several other board members and staff. The discussion continued on Zoom.
Many attendees had shown up to comment on the district’s re-opening plan, which includes mask mandates for children, and the controversial "equity policy," which many have accused of being a gateway to teaching Critical Race Theory.
The discussion on the policy had been postponed from a meeting earlier in the month due to community backlash. Those who showed up in person to comment on the police, as well as the mask mandates in the district’s re-opening plan, were furious. As the stream shut down, audience members can be heard saying, "You planned this," "You did this on purpose," "scumbags," and "Vote Them Out!"
Several were able to comment on Zoom, but most went home or protested outside the district offices. Spokane Public School board meetings will be returning to a virtual-only format.
It was revealed during the meeting that earlier in the day, the state superintendent’s office filed an emergency rule which cuts funding "for districts who willfully fail to comply" with the mask and vaccine mandates.
School boards across the state and country have been taking a similar tac in shutting down meetings where attendees fail to comply with mandates.