The father of a 5-year old just beginning school is blasting his fellow Williamson County, Tennessee parents –or at least those who made national headlines last week after staging heated protests at a school board meeting over a coronavirus mask mandate.
"I'm a dad of a new kindergartener and her first day was right after the chaos last week," Justin Kanew told attendees at Monday's school board meeting. "She went to school and was one of just a few kids in her class wearing a mask which made her ask me why she had to. My answer was because we want to take care of other people. She's five years old, but she understood that concept, and it's disappointing that more adults around here can't seem to grasp it."
"I asked a pastor friend of mine and he was very clear, there's no actual biblical justification for using the Bible to get out of a mask mandate passed by a majority of this elected board, but thousands are doing it anyway, calling it a 'religious exemption,' which is frankly just sad," Kanew said.
"Avoiding masks is not in the Bible but taking care of others is," he declared.
As coronavirus continues to ravage Tennessee, Williamson County is reporting an average of 130 new coronavirus cases per day. As Kanew noted, the state's GOP governor, Bill Lee, on Monday signed an executive order effectively voiding local mask mandates by allowing parents to opt-out of them.
One parent outside last week's school board meeting appeared to threaten a medical professional who spoke in support of masks, yelling: “We know who you are. You can leave freely, but we will find you."
Kanew, who was the Democratic Party's 2018 nominee for a U.S. House seat, and was a two-time contestant on CBS's "Amazing Race," also criticized parents attacking Critical Race Theory, explaining that it "is not in our schools, and it never was."
"The people here to complain about it did not know what it was six months ago and had never heard of it. That's why they're going after Diversity, Equity and Inclusion instead and trying to pretend they're the same thing. They aren't. And frankly, there aren't many communities around the globe that need DEI more than this one that we live in."
Kanew concluded: "If you only like democracy when it goes your way, you don't actually like democracy."