A Florida woman was arrested Tuesday after refusing to wear a mask at a school board meeting where face coverings were required.
Kari Turner, 40, was taken into custody in front of her two children by police officers with Pinellas County Schools in Largo. In a video of the arrest widely circulated online, Turner’s teenage daughter is heard screaming: “That’s my mom! That’s my mom!”
Turner was charged with battery of a law enforcement officer, trespassing and disorderly conduct.
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“The individual refused to wear a mask, which began a series of events that led to the arrest,” school district spokeswoman Isabel Macarenas told the Tampa Bay Times.
More than two dozen parents attended the meeting to voice opposition to the district possibly extending its mask policy, which has been in effect since classes resumed in August. The board eventually voted 4-1 to extend the mandate.
Opponents cited health concerns and low death rates attributed to COVID-19, the newspaper reported.
Many invoked politics in their objections.
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“These masks are water-boarding our children,” parent Shannon Brooks said.
Another told school board members: “You have taken away our God-given rights.”
The incident involving Turner occurred as she was trying to leave the meeting. School district police officers stopped several parents, saying they needed to wear masks to walk through the building. Some parents said they were grabbed by officers and refused to exit the premises.
Turner was released from the Pinellas County jail on Tuesday, according to jail records.