An irate parent has gone viral overnight after confronting Virginia's Loudoun County School Board for keeping its students out of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aliscia Andrews, former Republican nominee for Virginia's 10th District, shared the video on Twitter, where it exploded.
What are the details?
Andrews — also a Marine veteran — shared the video late Tuesday night and captioned it, "As a parent, this pandemic has brought forth some incredible challenges. This dad has had enough, we all have. No real metrics to safely open the schools, while the [school board] continues to kick the can further down the road. Many parents feel just as he does. #LCPS #openschools[.]"
In the video, a masked dad be seen addressing the school board.
He calmly begins, "You should all be fired from your day jobs, because if your employers knew that you were more inefficient than the DMV, you would be replaced in a heartbeat. I literally just finished a conference call because I'm having to multitask to be here to address you guys. You're a bunch of cowards hiding behind our children as an excuse for keeping schools closed. You think you're some sort of martyrs because of the decisions you're making when the statistics do not lie that the vast majority of the population is not at risk from this virus."
Becoming further angered, the unnamed parent began shouting.
"The garbage workers who pick up my freaking trash risk their lives every day more than anyone in this school system! Figure it out! Or get off the podium!" he screamed. "Because you know what? There are people like me and a line of other people out there who will gladly take your seat and figure it out! It's not a high bar! Raise the freaking bar!"
After finishing his rant, he left the podium, stunning the board members into dead silence.
"I'm gonna give staff an opportunity to make sure that, um, the podium and microphone had been — " an unnamed woman in the room can be heard saying as the man — off camera at this point — responds, "Please wipe it down ahead of time ... we don't want anything to infect us."
The woman responds, "Your time is finished; can you please leave the boardroom?"
As he exits the room, he can be heard saying, "I'll be back next time. And the next time — till you open the freaking schools!"
As a parent, this pandemic has brought forth some incredible challenges. This dad has had enough, we all have. No… https://t.co/UKxJENQzmM— Aliscia Andrews (@Aliscia Andrews)1611702890.0
On Tuesday, WTOP-TV reported that the school board is set to vote next Tuesday on a plan that would have students pre-K through fifth grade — whose parents chose hybrid learning — back in school buildings no later than Feb. 16.
"If approved," the station reported, "middle and high schoolers whose parents have already opted into the model would return to classrooms for two days per week by March 3."
In December, a spike in COVID-19 cases prompted the district to return to 100% remote learning. No children have been permitted to attend in-school classes since.
The station reported that more than 6,000 Loudoun County teachers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
A report from WJLA-TV notes that that number is expected to climb to approximately 8,700 by the week's end.
Superintendent Dr. Scott Ziegler later in the meeting implored people to have patience over the situation.
"I just like to remind folks in all of my discussions surrounding COVID-19, whether it be with teachers or principals or board members or parents, that we really need to come at this from a place where we are operating with patience, with flexibility, with comfort of the not-yet-known, and with grace," he said. "We can have a differing of opinions, but we can express those opinions and express our thoughts on what the plan is moving forward."
What are teachers saying?
WJLA reported that the Loudoun Education Association is "pushing back" against the school board's proposed timeline.
"What the Loudoun Education Association wants is for all employees who wish to be vaccinated to have both vaccinations before they go back [to school]," the organization's president said in a statement. "This vaccine is not a one-shot deal."
The president added, "This idea of moving students in the buildings now will slow down the vaccination process, because school nurses are administering the vaccines. And when school buildings are open, school nurses need to be in the building."
Ziegler has said that just 500 district employees will have received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by mid-February.