A Tennessee teen was heckled and mocked by adults at a school board meeting while discussing his grandmother’s COVID-19 death to promote the need to wear masks.
Grady Knox told the Rutherford County School Board that mask mandates would ensure a safer learning experience for students while protecting their family members.
But when the high school junior mentioned his grandmother’s death, the crowd turned on him.
“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,” a masked and impassioned Knox told the board, according to footage of the hearing.
Audience members could be heard saying “no,” “that’s not what happened,” and “shut up,” while an unmasked woman seated behind Knox was seen laughing, rolling her eyes and shaking her head back and forth.
The interruptions continued to shut down the young speaker for 13 seconds until a moderator was heard off camera saying “hey guys, we’re here to act professional.”
Knox did not immediately return The Post’s request for a phone interview, but he told News 4 Nashville that the disturbance was “complete insanity.”
“If they laugh at me about a personal story about my grandmother, that’s just disrespectful, I feel. So, I was like shaken a little bit,” Knox said to the local station.
Board member Claire Maxwell said officials did not support the outburst, according to the report.
“We all wholeheartedly, all seven of us, were ashamed about what happened and we want to make sure nothing like that ever happens again,” Maxwell reportedly said.
Knox told the outlet he hopes the now viral incident does not reflect poorly on his Nashville suburb.
“I hope that they can see that there’s people like me that want to see change and look past all of the hecklers,” Knox reportedly said.
“As long as I can get my message across, I don’t really think it matters what the crowd thinks of me. Overall, they’re not the ones making the decisions for the school.”
Officials did not reach a consensus during Tuesday’s meeting, but the school board voted to implement a temporary one month mask mandate Thursday, according to NBC News.