Difficult times

During a school board meeting in August, people displayed signs asking the district to keep a mask mandate.

The North Bend School District board returned to online meetings earlier this month, but it wasn't the COVID outbreak that forced the change.

Just days before its scheduled meeting October 7, the district sent out an announcement notifying the public of the change. At the meeting, board Chairman Jim Jordan explained the change.

"Late Tuesday, I was notified by the North Bend Police Department that the Eugene FBI office had contacted them regarding the potential for a large number of protestors to attend the 7 October school board meeting," Jordan said. "North Bend police stated they are currently shorthanded if they were requested to respond."

Jordan said in addition, OSHA had received complaints about people not wearing masks from the previous board meeting.

The announcement came weeks after Bandon radio personality Rob Taylor spoke to a crowd at a meeting for Citizens Restoring Liberty in Bandon, saying he wanted 200 to 300 people to attend a North Bend School Board meeting after the board discussed, but took no action on, resolutions regarding Critical Race Theory and mask mandates at schools.

In the video, Taylor called North Bend board member, Dr. Eric Gleason, Dr. Death and said Gleason, deserved a "kick in the ass."

Taylor asked the crowd to attend a work session the board held, but that meeting did not allow the public to attend. Public comment was allowed virtually, but no one was allowed in person.

Last month, the same group went to a Coos County commissioners meeting to protest the county's decision to require employees to wear masks. At that meeting, two commissioners walked out and adjourned the meeting, saying they felt threatened by the large crowd.

North Bend School District has not announced whether future meetings will be virtual or in person.

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