As the mom of two in public school, I’ve spoken at lots of school board meetings before — mostly about the importance of Covid mitigations (masks, testing, vaccines) and more recently, on behalf of the provisions that keep our trans and gender non-conforming kids safer in our schools.  But last night was totally different.  Last night, I was arrested in the parking lot of the building, after being escorted away from the podium by three police officers after I had only read two lines of my speech.

https://twitter.com/Melanie4VA/status/1448100813113528327?s=20 

Was I ranting, screaming, spittle flying, waving my finger around?  I was not- that’s not how I roll.  I merely was trying to bring up the investigation into the unemployment fraud of our Republican school board chair.  Our school board chair is currently running for Commissioner of Revenue, the position in charge of millions of our taxpayer dollars.  What I had to say must have been extremely threatening to Victoria Proffitt for her to have me escorted from the podium and arrested rather than let the truth regarding her unemployment claims get out.  Whatever happened to my First Amendment right to speak truth to power?  I guess that all just went by the wayside.  

Now, in addition to trying to run the last leg of my campaign, and support fellow Democrat candidates, I am faced with having to pay for a lawyer to defend me on charges of trespassing!  On school grounds.  For calmly, patiently trying to bring Republican malfeasance to public attention.  

No matter.  We’ll keep going.  We’ll do it together.  Let’s get this, y’all.

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District 78
Melanie Cornelisse

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In which the prosecutor explains that Proffitt “was either intentionally being dishonest or was just exceedingly careless in her benefits application”

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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