Video: Beaver Dam School Board Meeting Public Comments 9/20/21

(Beaver Dam) Video from the Beaver Dam School District YouTube page appears to show physical contact between two members of the audience during the public comment portion of Monday night’s monthly meeting. A speaker named Chris French, who is upset with the district’s mask mandate, told the school board (quote) “if you guys don’t reverse this people are going to keep getting madder.” He then began reading the names and addresses of school board members. The school board and crowd began to groan so French started yelling their names and addresses. He said planned protests at school board member’s homes is the reason Tony Klatt resigned last week. A man approached from behind, it seemed peaceful at first and then – the video shows — arms flailed. “This list has been circulating,” French yelled as the board chairman called for decorum. A woman in the audience was heard saying “this is not us.” There was no discussion and no vote taken by the school board on the mask mandate that was put in place at the beginning of the school year.

Other comments during last night’s school board meeting centered around parent choice, the efficacy of masks, and constitutional overreach. One parent said that the school board does not (quote) “get to usurp parental choice because [they] think something might help.” Another said (quote) “masks are unreasonable and ineffective, they harm kids learning abilities, and doing no favors for their health in return.” One parent called the mask mandate (quote) “child abuse.” 

As the meeting ended, again those in the audience voiced their disapproval that the board did not take a vote on the mask mandate. An individual in attendance approached the podium and called the school board (quote) “cowards” for not taking the issue up during the meeting.  

Superintendent Mark DiStefano did present several adjustments being considered for the district’s Return to Learn plan. They included improving distancing opportunities during times of congregation, increasing mask break opportunities for students, and move masks requirements to recommended for students participating in intense physical activity.  

Click HERE to watch the school board meeting