A Virginia dad showed up at a school board meeting this week, and a clip of his furious speech about schools that still aren't open amid the pandemic has gone viral. In a video circulating online, Brandon Michon, whose kids are 5 and 8, called the board "a bunch of cowards" at the Tuesday meeting and ended by yelling: "Figure it out, or get off the podium! ... It's not a high bar. Raise the freakin' bar!" On Fox News on Thursday, Michon explained his outburst, noting he's been going to board meetings "for months," and that after his two young sons spoke and didn't seem to get much acknowledgment, "my blood started boiling a little bit." He says that he thinks teachers are doing the best they can, but that the board should "make a plan and execute it." The Washington Examiner notes Michon wasn't the only one who expressed frustration at the meeting.
"You all should be hanging your heads in shame," one mother told the board, while another dad said, "How many more children need to fail? Get these schools open safely." WTOP notes that some teachers have relayed they don't feel secure returning to schools until they've completed their vaccination regimens. Loudoun's Interim Superintendent Scott Ziegler tells WTOP that since Michon's remarks started circulating, "inflammatory rhetoric" has been directed at staff over email and the phone, and via social media. "We may disagree on the methods and timetable ... but I would like us to agree that we all have our students' best interests at heart," he says. The school board, meanwhile, plans to vote on Tuesday on a plan that would allow students in pre-K through fifth grade who are signed up for the hybrid model to be back in schools by Feb. 16, with middle schoolers and high schoolers to reenter a couple of days a week by March 3. (Read more school closing stories.)