A South Carolina school board member stormed out of a board meeting on re-imposing remote learning, claiming God should decide if students will be protected from COVID-19.
Barbara Crosby, an elected official who has been a Dorchester District 2 School Board member for over 13 years, could be heard voicing her objections in a video of the proceedings before leaving the meeting.
The disruption occurred after the board voted to move all schools in the Charleston-area district to virtual learning for a seven-day period starting Tuesday as COVID-19 cases continue to spike statewide.
‘Now, I hope and pray our kids don’t get deathly ill or we don’t lose any children,’ Crosby told WCSC anchor Raphael James in a video interview following Wednesday night’s school board meeting.
‘But you know what? That’s not my — that’s up to God.’
When asked by James to clarify her stance on child COVID-19 safety, Crosby doubled down on her position to allow students to return to the classroom in spite of Coronavirus concerns.
‘I said that’s not going to be my decision. It’s going to be — I mean, God decides who lives or dies, right?’
Crosby, who was supported by about a dozen parents at Wednesday’s board meeting, wanted to add an option to the meeting’s agenda that would allow children to have in-school studies
Pictured: Wednesday evening’s school board workshop where Crosby walked out on after not being allowed to vote against the district’s mandate for virtual learning starting Tuesday
Crosby, who was supported by about a dozen parents at Wednesday’s board meeting, wanted to add an option to the meeting’s agenda that would allow children to have in-school studies.
‘They should have put option D which is kids go back to school like they should be doing,’ said parent Derek Clements, who backed Crosby’s efforts to allow children back in the classroom.
‘They don’t care, they clearly don’t care. They don’t want to listen.’
Crosby had previously called for an end to COVID-related classroom restrictions during a Donald Trump rally in November.
The facts, however, appear to be stacked against Crosby and her supporters’ calls for an end to COVID-19 classroom restrictions.
Pictured: Coronavirus deaths in South Carolina, with 10,743 deaths in the state overall and 261 deaths in Dorchester County, where Crosby is an elected official
Coronavirus Cases in South Carolina, with a total of 746,000 cases and 5,523 new cases reported in the state since yesterday
Roughly 5,085 students were absent due to COVID-related contact or infection as of Tuesday, August 31, according to Count on 2 News.
Of those students, 526 were out with positive Coronavirus cases, with another 4,449 students out of school to quarantine after contact with a confirmed case.
Meanwhile, 264 staff members lodged absences for the same reasons, according to the news outlet, with 75 staff members in the school district currently out of the classroom with a positive case, while 38 are quarantining due to contact with a confirmed case.
Another 37 staff members were absent ‘due to COVID family-related issues,’ the outlet reports.
As for the state, there have been a total of 746,000 cases of coronavirus, with 5,523 new cases alone reported since yesterday, and a total of 10,743 deaths from the virus since its onset in March 2020, according to the New York Times.
Crosby’s video interview with WCSC, where she doubled down on her belief that God, and not her fellow board members, should decide whether children should be protected from COVID
Barbara Crosby, pictured, an elected official who has been a Dorchester District 2 School Board member for over 13 years
As of the 2010 census, the population for the county, which is included in the Charleston-North Charleston, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area, was 136,555.
The state topped the nation in COVID-19 new cases per 100,000 people, a Times report revealed on Thursday.
The school district is set to mandate the 7-day virtual learning period after Labor Day, with the hopes that the time off will ‘enable many of the students and staff currently out of school due to COVID situations,’ according to Gail Hughes, a Dorchester District 2 board member.
Board chairwoman Gail Hughes told Crosby’ supporters that it would be illegal to change the agenda after it had already been approved.
‘The ones who were here were one side of it, and that’s okay,’ Hughes said of Crosby’s supporters.
‘It was a board workshop where we gather information to try and make a decision. It was not a board meeting where we allow comments.’