'Shut up!': Tennessee student gets heckled by anti-maskers while describing his grandmother’s Covid death
When a pandemic has killed more 4.6 million people worldwide (according to Johns Hopkins University data), recommending protective face masks, vaccination for COVID-19 or social distancing measures should be applauded as common sense. But when a Tennessee high school student, whose grandmother had died of COVID-19, advocated a mask mandate during a public school board meeting in early September, he was met with jeers.
The student, wearing a mask, explained, "I'm worried about my family. If I get COVID, I'm going to bring it to my family. And I talk to my grandparents a lot. They're higher risk than me; so, I don't want to give them COVID. This time last year, my grandmother — who was a former teacher at the Rutherford County School System — died of COVID because someone wasn't wearing a mask."
That's when the boos and jeers started, and someone in the crowd can be heard saying loudly, "Shut up!" As the jeering continued, someone said, "Hey guys, we're here to act professional" and asked the student to continue speaking.
A high school student in Tennessee told school board members that his grandmother, a former teacher in the district… https://t.co/OFSQvDhaQH— NPR (@NPR) 1631288120.0
The teenage student added, "This is an avoidable issue, and by not wearing masks in schools, it's irresponsible. We're killing people." And when he finished speaking, some people applauded him.Here are some other responses to video of the student's speech and the angry reaction he received from some of the attendees:
@NPR A teenager's grandma died, and they're heckling him over it. Absolutely disgusting.— Faith (@Faith) 1631288954.0
@NPR Why is this the mindset of many people? What happened to kindness and compassion? We live in a sad sad world.— QuaranToya (@QuaranToya) 1631289729.0
@NPR My heart goes out to him. When I put myself in his shoes and thought of ppl laughing at my grandmother’s death… https://t.co/09xfJzAujK— Miranda (Barnes) Alvarez (@Miranda (Barnes) Alvarez) 1631288973.0
@NPR Those "Don't Tread On Me" types sure do enjoy treading on everyone else.— Gerald L Castelli Jr (@Gerald L Castelli Jr) 1631289230.0
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