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Video: School board member rushes, tries to attack parent challenging school mask mandates

Shenandoah school board member Alan Troxell slams down a packet of papers during a school board meeting, Oct. 18, 2021. (YouTube screenshot)
October 21, 2021

An Indiana school board member was caught on video rushing at a parent during a contentious school board meeting on Monday before being held back by a school resource officer.

WTHR reported that during a meeting of the Shenandoah school board, parent Jason Greer gave a presentation about the effects of masking on children’s oxygen levels when the presentation turned to name-calling between Greer and Alan Troxell, the school board’s assistant secretary. At one point, Troxell said “I don’t want to listen because you don’t make sense” to which Greer replied by calling Troxell an “idiot.” After being called an “idiot,” Troxell then got out of his seat and began rushing towards the parent.

After getting up from the table where he was seated and attempting to get to Greer, Troxell was blocked by a school resource officer and he eventually returned to his seat and began gathering some papers before slamming them back on the table.

Troxell at one point in the video said, “I ain’t putting up with this shit no more” and “I’m not going to sit here and be called an idiot by some dumbass.”

After Troxell threw down his papers, one person in the meeting could be heard saying “and these are the people that are in charge of our childrens’ well-being.”

Greer told WTHR, “During the board meeting I provided a demonstration with an oxygen meter proving that per OSHA standards our kids are breathing unsafe levels of oxygen due to the mask mandate in our school. Mr. Troxell asked a follow-up question. I attempted to answer but he was unwilling to listen. At which point I said, ‘You’re not even trying to understand.’ He said, ‘I don’t want to listen because you don’t make sense.’ I replied with, ‘You’re an idiot.'”

Greer said as Troxell got out of his seat, three board members and the school resource officer rose to stop him.

“I was seated this whole time and showed no aggression,” Greer continued. “At which point the officers escorted me out but allowed the aggressor to stay. He called me an asshole and a bastard. He then threw a temper tantrum and his papers. He attempted to quit but the board members asked him to sit down and stated ‘No, we need you.'”

Greer said Troxell also called his wife “ridiculous” and had acted in a similar manner in past meetings.

Shenandoah Schools Superintendant Ron Greer hinted at some form of reprimand, saying Troxell will “definitely receive something from our school board president” but did not elaborate. Greer said Troxell “knows that his actions were not representative of membership and representing Shenandoah Schools.”

In a statement to WRTV, the school board said “Mr. Troxell is sorry for his actions” but also said its members “are tired of being called child abusers over a Mask Mandate.”

“Mr. Troxell’s situation was made personal, and was elevated from the frustration the entire school board feels, when a parent chose to call Mr. Troxell an ‘Idiot’ during the school board meeting,” the school board statement reads. “The behavior of the parent was unacceptable, as was Mr. Troxell’s reaction. This is not an appropriate way to address any public servant, whether you agree or disagree with their work.”

During the meeting, the school board ultimately voted to extend its mask mandate in Shenandoah Schools until at least January 10, 2022. 

The contentious school board meeting is one among a series of contentious interactions between education officials and parents in recent months. In September, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent a letter to President Joe Biden, complaining of “threats of violence” and “acts of intimidation” towards school boards and said “as these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

Within days of the NSBA letter, the Department of Justice announced it had directed the FBI to help combat “efforts to intimidate” school board members.