A Virginia school board meeting erupted in chaos after hundreds of conservatives packed into the session to protest LGBTQ-friendly policies and anti-racist lessons.
The crowd was warned by Loudoun County board chairwoman Brenda Sheridan not to interrupt with chants and applause, but she was forced to call a five-minute recess shortly into the public comment portion of the meeting, and the crowd erupted after the board then unanimously voted to end remarks from the public, reported Loudoun Now.
"We came here to dissent, and this is our house, we're going to dissent," said protest organizer Ted Sjurseth, of Lucketts.
Sjurseth, who for years has organized America's 9/11 Ride for motorcyclists and was an outspoken critic of a plan to build a mosque near the World Trade Center site, explained before the board meeting why he had drawn more than 300 conservatives to the meeting.
"[I'm here to] voice my disgust at what's going on in the Loudoun County school system," Sjurseth said. "It's changed a lot in the last five years. … They're forcing this stuff down their throat."
Conservative outrage over so-called "critical race theory" lessons, which has been manufactured by Republican activists and hyped by Fox News, have roiled school districts around the country in recent weeks, but Loudoun County's board meeting was particularly unruly.
Sjurseth was briefly detained after he refused to leave the board room and was issued a trespass summons, and two people got into a fight that led to disorderly conduct and resisting arrest against one man.
Two people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Many of the 51 speakers, out of 294 scheduled, voiced support or objection to a draft policy that would require teachers to address transgender students by their preferred names or pronouns and allow them to use facilities and activities to match their gender identity.
Others objected to equity initiatives meant to counteract racism, which some conservatives believe is critical race theory in the school district, and two parents appeared after the meeting on Laura Ingraham's Fox News program.
Two arrests made at the Loudoun County, Virginia school board meeting after it was declared an unlawful assembly an… https://t.co/VBmAzaNGPA— Gabriella Borter (@Gabriella Borter) 1624400479.0
Deputies clear Loudoun School Board meeting room. www.youtube.com