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Arizona School Board Meetings Disrupted By Anti-Mask Advocates

Published: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 11:57am
Updated: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 8:11pm
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The Scottsdale Unified School District governing board was forced to abruptly end its meeting May 18 after people attending refused to follow district rules and wear masks; SUSD has continued to require masks on district property.

In a statement, the district’s superintendent said most SUSD students are not eligible for, or have not received, a vaccine, and that by keeping its mask mandate in place, the district has “been successful in preventing our schools from becoming COVID breeding grounds.”

He also pointed out the district plans to make masks optional come fall.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in Arizona.

In late April, a school board meeting for the Vail Unified School District, southeast of Tucson, turned chaotic.

Parents and others wanted the board to get rid of the district’s mask requirement; some forced their way into the building. That led law enforcement to recommend the board adjourn its meeting, which it did. But the protestors stayed and eventually elected some of themselves as new school board members; that, of course, had no actual meaning, since school board members are on ballots that voters vote on in scheduled elections, rather than in the lobby of a building.

But the incident has shaken some in the community.

Calvin Baker is a former superintendent of the Vail Unified School District — he spent more than four decades as a school administrator. He’s currently a member of the Arizona State Board of Education.

The Show spoke with him and asked what went through his mind when he read about the incident and saw what happened.

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