I am writing in regards to the conduct of the crowd at the Aug. 26 New Ulm School Board. I attended the meeting and was shocked and saddened by the lack of decorum from the crowd.

Multiple members of the crowd interrupted the board chair. The crowd cheered following each anti-mask speaker, despite the request of the board chair to withhold applause to enable more people to speak. Multiple anti-mask speakers finished their speeches with veiled threats toward the board members.

This behavior was disruptive, uncivil, and with the clear intention to intimidate. I feel terrible that the board members had to endure that type of behavior.

School board members should never have to be escorted to their vehicles by police. I falsely assumed the New Ulm community would be able to respectfully air their valid concerns, but instead, our School Board was intimidated into inaction.

The conversation at the board meeting should have been about how to best ensure the safety of our students and enact the recommendation of our health professionals with the least disruption to learning possible. Instead, the board meeting devolved into a forum for the anti-mask and anti-vaccine crowd to air their cultural war grievances and pseudo-science.

I am ashamed to be a part of this community and question whether this is a safe and healthy place to raise my family.

Justin Mattson

New Ulm

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