NACS board holds meeting as parents heckle students, others outside

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Monday night the Northwest Allen County School board (NACS) held its first meeting without public comment. The board stopped public comment as tempers flared over mask mandates.

The school board met in a classroom for the first time in months and those in attendance were spaced a few feet apart. The majority of the meeting focused on school funding and ended in under 12 minutes.

However, while the board meeting was tranquil inside it was a different story for those outside the meeting. According to a school official the crowd heckled observers and students as they left the meeting even an hour after it ended.

That official went on to say that the board had six Allen County Sherriff’s deputies and two administrators to manage the crowd outside which could be heard inside the meeting. An officer has been present at each school board meeting since April.

WANE 15 asked the Allen County Sheriff’s department for more specifics about threats made against the school board.

“There were no direct threats,” Captain Steve Stone wrote in an email.  “The meetings were getting contentious and parents were arguing in the parking lot.  When our SRO’s (school resource officers) were asked their opinions, they just advised that the meetings were getting heated and something needed to be done to calm the situation and insure the safety of the students and attendees.  It was not our advice, opinion, or decision to stop taking public questions or feedback.  As of now no laws have been violated, or investigations initiated.”

The board has said they will resume public comment when they feel it is safe.

The school corporation is also facing a lawsuit filed by parents of NACS students. The lawsuit claims that the school and state officials should stop mask mandates.

According to court documents the parties or attorneys will appear before an Allen County Superior judge on Dec. 13.

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