'I Am Not Leaving'—Furious Mom Demands School Board Re-vote on Mask Mandate in N. Carolina

A mother in North Carolina called on a local school board to vote again after its members agreed to extend a face mask mandate for unvaccinated students and staff as the new school year is set to begin on August 23.

The woman, identified by The Asheville Citizen Times as Stephanie Parsons, was captured on video loudly demanding that the Buncombe County Board of Education hold a revote on the issue on Thursday.

The board voted by four to two to extend the mask requirement, but a group of around 30 people in attendance rejected the decision and claimed to form a new school board.

A video of some of Parsons' comments was shared on Twitter by WLOS News 13 news reporter Hannah McKenzie, while the Citizen Times also featured a video of her remarks.

Parsons can be seen wearing a black t-shirt saying "Unmask our kids" as she demands another vote.

"I am not leaving until you do a revote for the people, by the people and of the people. Now!" Parsons said.

Those comments won some approval and applause from those in attendance. Parsons also spoke on the issue of mask mandates from a podium during the meeting and placed a sign in front of her which read: "Vaccines known to cause seizures [...] encephalitis [...] autoimmunity."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says COVID vaccines are "safe and effective," while millions of Americans have been vaccinated "under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history."

Parsons was among around three dozen people who spoke in opposition to extending the mask mandate, including Representative Madison Cawthorn, a Republican representing North Carolina's 11th congressional district.

Cawthorn said the school board had "passed this mask mandate without input from those who hold you accountable because you knew it was wrong. You knew it would never withstand the scrutiny of the public."

The crowd is demanding a re-vote @BuncombeSchools board has motioned for a recess. Board members have left the building. pic.twitter.com/Cc2Vk9B6Ny

— Hannah Mackenzie (@Hannahh_Mackk) August 5, 2021

The school board didn't re-vote on the matter. Buncombe County Schools will require students and staff who don't provide proof of vaccination to wear face coverings in the new school year in school buildings and school buses.

About 30 people present signed loose-leaf paper saying they were "witnesses" to the formation of a new board, after the group of parents reportedly declared its creation themselves.

Parsons told the Citizen Times on Thursday: "They acted as a dictatorship, and so therefore, the people then take it into our own hands to abolish that governance and re-elect new members right then and there."

Buncombe County Schools attorney Dean Shatley said the parents' attempt to form a new board didn't remove the current board members from their positions.

"I know they're very passionate and care a tremendous amount about what they were here to speak about, but what they did has no authority under the law," Shatley said.

Newsweek has asked Buncombe County Schools for comment.

A Nurse Prepares COVID Vaccines in Missouri
A nurse prepares COVID vaccines at a baseball game on August 5, 2021, in Springfield, Missouri. According to the latest numbers from the state’s health department, little more than 4 in 10 Missourians have received the vaccine. A North Carolina school board's decision to extend a mask mandate for unvaccinated students and staff was met with loud protests on Thursday. Spencer Platt/Getty Images