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Virginia parent chastises school board officials over coronavirus shutdown

A Virginia dad, frustrated with the lack of options to send his children to school during the coronavirus pandemic, stood before a county school board and delivered a passionate speech. CNN's Fredricka Whitfield and former President of the American Medical Association Dr. Patrice Harris discuss the emotional toll the pandemic has taken on families.

Posted: Feb 1, 2021 8:20 AM
Updated: Feb 1, 2021 8:20 AM

A Virginia dad, frustrated with the lack of options to send his children to school during the coronavirus pandemic, stood before a county school board delivering a passionate speech.

"You're a bunch of cowards hiding behind our children as an excuse to keep our schools closed," Brandon Michon said at a Loudoun County School Board meeting on Tuesday. "Figure it out or get off the podium."

A video capturing the heated discussion has circulated on social media and has been viewed more than 486,000 times on Twitter. In the video, Michon points and shouts at school board members.

"You should all be fired from your day jobs because if your employers knew you were more inefficient than the DMV you would be replaced in a heartbeat," he told the school board.

"There are people like me and a line of other people out there who will gladly take your seat and figure it out!"

In an interview with CNN, Michon said he wasn't trying to call attention to himself.

"This is about finding ways to get our children back to school and giving the optionality to families to get them back to school learning, being mentally healthy, and being kids," he said.

A father to a 5-year-old in kindergarten and an 8-year-old in the third grade, Michon said he's outraged because the board has not listened to him and other parents who want options to get students back in the classroom.

"I tried talking in a different tone and this one obviously caught attention," Michon told CNN.

Michon said his kids have been going to school online for a majority of the school year.

The superintendent sent a letter to the school community

The school system's interim superintendent, Scott Ziegler, sent a letter to the school community on Thursday in which he discussed the school board meeting, but he did not mention Michon by name.

He said "increased media attention ... has led to some inflammatory rhetoric being shared on social media and in email and phone communications with staff. As a parent and a school administrator, I know this subject can provoke many emotions, including frustration and anger."

Ziegler says the community has a common goal to safely send students back to school as soon as it is possible.

"We may disagree on the methods and timetable to return students to in-person learning, but I would like us to agree that we all have our students' best interests at heart," he said.

Board may reconsider return to in-person learning

About 18,000 Loudoun County students returned to the classroom in early December, CNN affiliate WJLA reported, but a week later the school board announced a return to 100% distance learning. Two key metrics -- cases per 100,000 people and testing positivity -- exceeded established thresholds.

In a statement to CNN, Loudoun County Public Schools said the board is scheduled Tuesday to vote on a plan to return to in-person learning by February 16. This return would include grades K-5 and some older students in special categories.

As of January 28, Loudoun County Public Schools has reported 33 active positive cases of the coronavirus among staff and students and four new student cases in the last 24 hours.

There has been a total of 610 positive cases in Loudoun County Public Schools since September 8, according to the school's Covid case data site.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1385749

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1538881574
Cuyahoga1358332341
Hamilton987081326
Montgomery679671161
Summit568451051
Lucas51531869
Butler48000663
Stark42232983
Lorain32046539
Warren30404338
Mahoning27463643
Clermont25990297
Lake24809422
Delaware22566147
Licking20767246
Fairfield20730223
Greene20611275
Trumbull20257516
Medina20074290
Clark18170332
Richland16680236
Portage16389231
Wood15926209
Allen14333261
Miami14018261
Muskingum12927155
Wayne12185244
Columbiana11980242
Tuscarawas11204271
Marion10908150
Pickaway10606129
Scioto10531127
Erie9864171
Ross9612177
Lawrence8934125
Hancock8603143
Ashtabula8474187
Geauga8251156
Belmont8236188
Jefferson7691175
Huron7537131
Union742651
Washington7380126
Athens709365
Sandusky6963135
Darke6875137
Knox6812122
Seneca6519137
Ashland6051115
Auglaize595388
Shelby5820104
Brown575372
Mercer565190
Defiance5564101
Crawford5563117
Madison551071
Highland549282
Fulton542583
Clinton533781
Logan518687
Preble5102111
Putnam4900107
Guernsey484364
Williams468982
Perry462254
Champaign454264
Ottawa442484
Jackson434563
Pike398345
Morrow396451
Coshocton391969
Fayette383753
Adams369275
Hardin366170
Gallia355458
Holmes3321111
Henry329869
Van Wert320771
Hocking310770
Wyandot285458
Carroll266352
Paulding246443
Meigs221742
Monroe192749
Noble174142
Morgan170029
Harrison160741
Vinton141319
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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63° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 63°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 60°
Decatur
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60° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 48°
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Van Wert
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63° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 47°
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Monday is another nice and breezy day with warmer temperatures.
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