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Numerous parents as well as a couple of students and some citizens blasted Bedford County Public Schools on various topics, including how unmasked students with exemptions are allegedly isolated, intimidated and treated like prisoners.

They let the board know how they felt at Bedford County Public Schools’ board meeting Thursday.

In addition to speakers criticizing the district’s handling of medical and religious exemptions, condemning schools’ treatment of students, and railing against the board for its last-minute switch on mask requirements, they also condemned critical race theory and castigated the members of the board who refuse to listen to their constituents.

The following is only one of many people who spoke at the board meeting. See the Sept. 15 issue of the Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper for much more.

Jessica Deboard

Jessica Deboard said her daughters attend the school system. She claimed that her 4-year-old daughter, who has multiple disabilities, “was placed in a seclusion room, the equivalent of a jail cell, that I’m told by a local CO would be unfit for any prisoner to inhabit for any length of time.”

Deboard said that she had already appeared before the school board on multiple occasions, asking her daughter receive the services due her “according to federal, state and moral obligation.”

The situation was allegedly so bad that “she had to go through crisis intervention because she was shamed to the point of saying she wanted to die and deserved to die — at the age of 4. The concerned mother researched and found that her preschooler was not the only one to undergo such treatment. Yet there was no documentation or paper trail “with which to file complaints to the department of education.”

When she tried to make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to see her “daughter’s security camera footage, the initial fee is $3,000.” She asked to have a video of her daughter played at the board meeting, but the board denied the request. She alleged that is “because you don’t want her voice to be heard.”

“Stop putting our kids in this room,” she said. “Provide them appropriate services. Stop producing suicidal preschoolers.”

Find out more in the upcoming issue of the Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper. If subscribed, view the e-edition version of the article this upcoming Wednesday at www.smithmountaineagle.com/eedition. If not subscribed, pick up a print edition or subscribe at www.smithmountaineagle.com/subscriber_services.

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