A viral video that has been making the rounds on social media shows a Virginia father fed up with remote learning unleashing an explosive tirade at school board members and calling for their ouster, unless they agree to resume in-person classes.
The dad’s meltdown, reminiscent of fictional news anchor Howard Beale’s epic temper tantrum from the 1975 classic Network, took place on Tuesday during the public comment section of a meeting organized by Loudon County School Board.
In the video, which was made public on Twitter on Tuesday, the unnamed parent, wearing a blue surgical mask and a winter hat, steps up to the microphone to weigh in on the debate concerning the reopening to local schools.
Tantrum: A frustrated father exploded in rage during a meeting organized by Loudon County School Board in Virginia on Tuesday
The father ranted that members of the board deserved to be fired for being ‘more inefficient than the DMV’
‘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,’ he says in a calm tone of voice.
‘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.’
As the father continues to make his argument, he becomes visibly agitated, with his voice rising to a scream.
‘The garbage workers who pick up my freaking trash risk their lives every day more than anyone in this school system,’ he shouts. ‘Figure it out, or get off the podium! Because you know what? There are people like me and a lot 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!’
‘The garbage workers who pick up my freaking trash risk their lives every day more than anyone in this school system,’ he shouts. ‘Figure it out, or get off the podium!’
The father was asked to leave after sharing hew viewed and had a deputy escort him out
Video of the tense exchange was posted by Aliscia Andrews, a Marine Corps veteran and a former Republican candidate for Congress
On his way out of the board room, as a member of the board instructs staff to sanitize the podium, the dad yells out: ‘I’ll be back next time. And the next time – till you open the freaking schools!’
A deputy is then summoned to escort the incensed parent out of the building.
Video of the tense exchange was posted by Aliscia Andrews, a Marine Corps veteran and a former Republican candidate for Congress. As of Thursday afternoon, it has been viewed more than 447,000 times.
‘As a parent, this pandemic has brought forth some incredible challenges,’ Andrews wrote in a caption. ‘This dad has had enough, we all have. No real metrics to safely open the schools, while the SB continues to kick the can further down the road. Many parents feel just as he does.’
The school district switched from a hybrid model combining in-person and remote learning to fully remote learning last month as coronavirus rates spiked in Loudon County.
The furious dad was not the only parent to express frustration with that arrangement on Tuesday.
‘How do you expect a five-year-old to handle this situation?’ one mother told the school board. ‘She should be excited to go to school, to grow, to learn, to thrive. We are failing our children,’ reported WJLA.
Another parent urged the board to return to the hybrid model of learning as a first step toward normalcy.
‘You have got to get these kids back in the hybrid learning model so there’s a chance of school next year,’ said the parent. ‘If we don’t do this, we’re going to be in the same position next year!’
School Superintendent Dr. Scott Ziegler asked parents to be patient as the school system follows updated guidance from the Virginia Department of Education, reported KPTV.
‘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,’ said Ziegler. ‘We can have a differing of opinions, but we can express those opinions and express our thoughts on what the plan is moving forward.’
The Loudoun County School Board is scheduled to vote next Tuesday on a plan to resume in-person school for students whose parents opt for hybrid learning.
The plan would put a limited number of students in pre-K through fifth grade back in classes by February 16, while higher grade levels would return to schools by March 3.