anti-masker removed from school meeting

J.P. Skelly/Facebook

Cops drag man out of school board meeting for refusing to wear a mask

'You're going to have to drag me out.'

Sep 15, 2020, 4:51 pm*


Onaje McDowelle 

Onaje McDowelle

A video that surfaced on Facebook on Monday shows a man being forcibly removed from a school board meeting in Mitchell, South Dakota, after he refused wear a mask. The anti-masker was reportedly asked to either wear one or leave.

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The video begins as the man is being approached by two officers who look to be asking the man to stand up and leave the meeting.

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Mitchell Police officers removed Reed Bender after he refused to wear a face mask at the Mitchell School Board meeting. School district policy requires masks be worn in school buildings. He was escorted out of the building. No arrest was made.

Posted by J.P. Skelly on Monday, September 14, 2020

“I know you don’t want to do it, but unfortunately, you have to follow these fool’s rules, right?” the man says. “Force me out. You’re going to have to drag me out.”

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He continues, “You are sowing discord in our communities at every level. It’s disgusting.”

After the man repeats that he won’t leave and that the cops will have to drag him out, the officers move to lift him out of his seat. The man fights back, causing a struggle for the officers until one officer pulls out a stun gun and threatens to use it.

After struggling to get away from the officers a while longer, the man is eventually escorted from the library where the meeting was held.

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At that point, one woman whose mask is sitting below her face stands up and says, “He just wants to have a say in what’s going on. We pay school taxes.”

She continues, seemingly calling out the enforcement of mask ordinances in the district, saying, “This is an embarrassment and we all should be embarrassed.

“Let’s all get in a huddle like we did on Friday night at the football game. How many people are on the football team?” she says. “We put them on a pedestal and we let them get into a group and chant. I get that sports are important but how is that more important than every other student, chorus, and all the other activities that go on.”

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According to Newsweek, the Mitchell School District issued a mask mandate in July, which requires anyone entering the school building to wear a mask.

“Never in my entire career as a superintendent have I had that happen before,” Mitchell School District Superintendent Joe Graves told the Mitchell Republic after the meeting. “We gave the gentleman fair warning of that and offered him a mask. He refused, so the board had to enforce the mandate.”

Police say that they are investigating the incident from the video, however, no charges have been filed against the anti-masker.

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*First Published: Sep 15, 2020, 4:50 pm