Kenosha school board meeting ends early as parents interrupt, chant to recall members

NOW: Kenosha school board meeting ends early as parents interrupt, chant to recall members

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A rowdy meeting in Kenosha Tuesday night, Aug. 24. Parents, calling for a recall of as many school board members as possible.

Things got tense. Parents were shouting out loud as the board members walked in. Moments later, every school board member turned and walked out.

At 7 p.m., even before the board began to speak, parents in the room randomly started singing. Song over, they moved to the Pledge of Allegiance.

Audience members didn't stop with the interruptions. One parent said they were there to give their children a voice, then called board members rude for being on their phones while in a meeting.

It didn't take long before the crowd started chanting "Recall!" and the board walked out.

"We need to find a bigger venue, so I will adjourn the meeting and we will hold it on another date," said one board member.

Parents stuck around for another half hour, many standing on chairs to be heard.

"I feel that this was a cop-out and it was a sign of cowardice that they were afraid to face the people," said parent Amanda Nedweski. 

The pro-choice crowd talked about a recall, saying they'll need nearly 13,000 signatures to move forward on a recall of three board members.

"I'm very pro-choice for masks, my last school year was completely ruined by having to wear a mask, I felt like I was treated like a disease," said Emma Meadows, a high school junior in the district. 

"It was devastating to watch her lose her motivation or excitement for education," said Emma's dad, Eric Meadows.

In all, more than 60 people had been prepared to speak to the board during public comment. Only a few were urging the board to go with the CDC recommendation and require masks for all schools.

"My concern is for my youngest. They're not vaccinated and can't be vaccinated yet. And in the future I don't know what will hold for them if they get it," said parent Amy Chamklin.

Earlier this month, the Kenosha County Public Health Department issued guidance that all schools use universal masking for teachers, staff, students and visitors regardless of vaccination status. The recommendation was prompted by the increase in cases due to the delta variant.

Parents say they'd also like to see a large turnout at the next Kenosha Common Council meeting where they may be voting on a mask mandate for the entire city. 

The Unified School District plans to reschedule Tuesday night's meeting.

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