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Williamson County Sheriff's Office investigating heated school board meeting

school board meeting
Posted at 6:11 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 19:28:07-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Williamson County Sheriff's Office is investigating Tuesday night's Williamson County Board meeting.

Dozens of parents and health care professionals attended the meeting in hopes of swaying the board's decision. Ultimately, the board voted to reinstate a mask mandate for elementary schools due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Many parents heckled board members and other health care professionals who spoke. At one point, the board chair asked a deputy to remove a man from the meeting for causing disruptions. Some parents threatened litigation over the board's decision. Others threatened those asking for the mandate as they left the meeting.

Officials have not said what actions or incidents, in particular, are being investigated, but that the meeting is being looked into.

Sheriff Dusty Rhoades released the following statement:

"In law enforcement, we have to constantly strike a balance between maintaining the peace while respecting the rights that citizens have for free expression, even when the expression is unpleasant or even hostile. When expression crosses over into behavior that is violent, law enforcement’s role is clear and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office will intervene to address those criminal acts when observed or when they are brought to our attention. There needs to be a more civil discourse at public meetings and elsewhere and we will continue to work with other elected officials and community leaders to help strike that balance. We do take our obligation to protect our citizens very seriously and I am always open to suggestions about how we can do a better job."

You can watch the full meeting below: