Virginia Woman Charged After Threatening to Show Up to Child's School with Guns in Protest of Mask Mandate

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Posted: Jan 22, 2022 4:55 PM
Virginia Woman Charged After Threatening to Show Up to Child's School with Guns in Protest of Mask Mandate

Source: AP Photo

A Virginia woman was charged by police after she threatened to bring loaded firearms to her child's school over the district's mask mandate.

Amelia Ruffner King was charged Friday night with a violation of a Virginia statute stating that oral threats of bodily harm on school property are not allowed, a Class 1 misdemeanor.

She was released on a $5,000 unsecured bond, and police will have an increased presence at the school on Monday, according to the Luray Police Department.

During a Page County School Board meeting held Thursday to discuss Gov. Glenn Youngkin's (R) executive order allowing parents to opt-out of mask requirements, King blasted the board over the mask mandate that was still in place, video footage shows.

"My child — my children will not come to school on Monday with a mask on. All right, that's not happening. And I will bring every single gun loaded and ready to — I will call every—," King explained before she was interrupted by school officials.

She then left the podium and said, "I'll see y'all on Monday."

King later apologized to the board members in an email read aloud during the meeting by one of the board members.

"I in no way meant to imply 'all guns loaded' as in actual firearms, but rather all resources I can muster to make sure that my children get [sic] to attend school without masks. My sincere apologies for my poor choice in words," King's email read.

She also said in her email that she contacted the sheriff's office to "explain herself." 

Page County School Superintendent Antonia Fox and Page County School Board Chair Megan Gordon wrote in a joint statement Friday that King's remarks "were perceived by many to be threatening in nature" and that the district "does not take these kinds of statements lightly."

"Not only do comments such as these go against everything we wish to model for our students, they go against the very nature of how we as a community should interact with each other," the statement reads. "Violence and threats are never acceptable or appropriate. This kind of behavior is not tolerated from our students, faculty staff, nor will it be tolerated by parents or guests of our school division."

The school board voted in a 4-2 decision to make masks optional after the Thursday meeting in which King made her comments. This comes just ahead of Youngkin's executive order taking effect on Monday.

Luray Police Chief Bow Cook said that King apologized for her comments and is cooperating with law enforcement.

"The statement that was made absolutely caused public alarm, the parent that made the statement realized that, and immediately contacted law enforcement to apologize because the statement was not intended the way it was perceived," Cook said in a Friday afternoon statement posted to Facebook. "The safety of the students and school staff are our number one priority, we are working diligently with the Page County School Board to ensure proper measures have been put in place for their safety."