WATCH: Missoula Schools Trustee Declines Mask, Chair Suspends Meeting for “Spreading Germs”

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On Tuesday night, the regular meeting of the Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) Board of Trustees was suspended by board chair Diane Lorenzen after trustee Mike Gehl declined to wear a mask. An agenda item that was set for discussion was Montana High School Association sports eligibility issues, which the chair mentioned was “popular with the public.”

Currently, the public is still barred from attending in-person meetings of the school board.

Board chair Lorenzen argued that because students and school staff have to wear masks, due to the policies of the school board, everyone should comply.

“I would like the record to reflect that Trustee Gehl has chosen not to wear a mask,” Lorenzen said.  “In spite the fact that everyone else in the room is wearing a mask and that the district requires teachers and students to wear masks.”

“Trustee Gehl could I please ask you to wear a mask,” she insisted.

Missoula School Board Trustee Mike Gehl declines mask at MCPS Board of Trustees meeting. January 11, 2022.

Trustee Mike Gehl politely responded that he was not required to wear a mask and that there is no state statute that compelled him to to wear a mask, either.

“As I have stated before chairman,” Gehl said. “I am not required to. If you could state a state code that I am obligated to follow, I would be more than happy to follow that. But I am not bound by any state stature whatsoever.”

MCPS Board Trustee Diane Lorenzen

Chair Lorenzen said that Gehl was “spreading germs” by declining to mask his face.

“No, but you’re bound by common courtesy and personal hygiene to keep yourself to yourself,” the chair said. “So, may I ask you again, please, just for the sake of not spreading germs around the room could you please wear a mask.”

“You’re wearing yours, I don’t feel I need to wear mine,” Gehl responded.

“Let the record reflect that trustee Gehl has refused to wear a mask,” Lorenzen stated. The chair asked other board members for comments.

School board Trustee Grace Decker said that declining to wear a mask was akin to someone deciding to “bring a beer in here.”

MCPS Board Trustee Grace Decker

“I feel it sends a terrible message to our staff and to the rest of our community that one of our trustees is not following a policy that our board as a body adopted,” Trustee Decker stated. “It’s the same as if a person decided to bring a beer in here. That’s against our policies and we wouldn’t stand for it.”

“I feel that we are out of order, currently. You’ve called the meeting to order, but we are not in order. Because we are not following the policies that we as a body have set,” Decker bristled.

“I don’t feel comfortable,” another trustee, Nancy Hobbins said. “I will leave this meeting if we can’t all follow the rules.”

Before adjourning the meeting without a vote of the body, Lorenzen said that it was apparent that they would not meet in person again until Gehl was “off the board.”

“We’re going to cancel the meeting, and adjourn till further, not adjourn the meeting, but simply close the meeting till further notice,” the chair said. “Apparently, we will have to meet virtually until trustee Gehl is off the board.”

In a statement to Missoula County Tyranny, Gehl noted that he has attended in-person meetings of the school board without a mask in the past without dramatics and that his recent letter of confidence in support of Montana State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen was the difference Tuesday night.

MCPS Board Trustee Mike Gehl

“We have had 2 or 3 in-person board meetings since the school adopted its mask policy,” Gehl said. “The rest have all been virtual. I have never worn a mask at any meeting.  Consistently.  Never.”

“What changed?” Gehl said. “I publicly came out and supported our State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen against MCPS Superintendent Rob Watson’s poison pen letter.”

Gehl said the mask policy regrettably adopted by the school board does not apply to members of the school board.

“The facts are clear here—I have diligently explained to them on several occasions, they only have authority over their employees and students.  No one else.”

Gehl said that he believed the theatrics were coordinated. The school board student caucus was missing on an important night discussing student athletics and chair Diane Lorenzen approached Gehl before the meeting and asked him if he was going to wear a mask. Gehl responded he would not be wearing a mask, again, and according to Gehl, Lorenzen stated that the board was going to “vote to censor you.”

“This is not about masking, it’s about control,” Gehl said. “They want it, they definitely do not want you to have any.  If I do nothing else, I am going to continue to point out their hypocrisy.  I do not work for them, I am not accountable to them, I do not answer to them.  And there is nothing they can do about that.”

Roy McKenzie

Roy McKenzie has lived in Missoula since 2017 and runs his own software development company. Roy is the Editor of Missoula County Tyranny. Get in touch with him on Telegram.

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Elysa Stoker

Good job Gehl!!! What to stand up for your rights and ours! Stay strong

Mike Starmer

Trustee Michael Gehl stood up for his Constitutional and lawful rights Tuesday evening. He stood up for the rights of all Montanans when the are threatened by an authoritarian government or organization. That is exactly what happened at Tuesday nights meeting. Mr. Gehl was threatened by Diane Lorenzen, stating afterward that the Board would meet virtually until Mr. Gehl could be “removed from the Board”. In my opinion that constitutes a direct threat against Mr. Gehl. The question must be answered, did it also violate Montana election laws by an elected public official whose goal was clearly to skew voter opinion of Mr. Gehl. That question may b e best addressed by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudson.

Ms. Lorenzen went on to later state that no person, parent or otherwise, who did not conform to School Board policies would not be allowed to attend meetings. Once again, Diane Lorenzen threatened Missoula Citizens just as she did Mr. Gehl. Where is the FBI when a School Board verbalizes a direct threat to parents? I would say that we are fortunate that she (Lorenzen) will no longer be the chair of the Board after the next election. However, the new Madame du jour of the Board will be Grace Decker, who according to the website http://www.keywiki.org is a member of the Western Montana Democratic Socialists of America. Of course the most hideous Socialist movement the world has ever seen was the National Socialist German Workers Party. I wonder if there’s any commonality between the two? Maybe the title of the “Chair” for the MCSBT under Decker’s reign will change to something more appropriate…………?

Franz Glaus

Cultural marxists feel they have power with the fake bye-done clownshow in DC and the Nanshy clownshow in the House. They are going to fall so hard when this is all done. In the meantime, Americans are learning the hard way that the price for freedom is eternal vigilance. We just let these yahoos get away with their nonsense for far too long!

Yevgeniya Davis

Masks are USELESS. They need to get over themselves.

Richard Wilkins

These psychotic idiots, have no place anywhere near our children. I don’t even know if this broken system can be fixed, seems so many are intent on worshiping satan, mask wearing is just a satanic supplication ritual masquerading as a public health protocol, the satanic elite have been forcing their slaves to wear masks for centuries, research it.

Clayton McAlpine

Hats off to Mike Gehl- Freedom Fighter!!!

Fear is the real virus.

Gabriel Earle

Great job to Mike Gehl for standing up to these charlatans. Thank you for fighting the good fight!

ele

Great job, Roy.
Thanks for uploading. Suggestion: If you change the setting on You Tube to made for kids, it will take comments. That’s if you want comments… BTW you should check out Granite County Board of Commission’s idea of a public meeting. I’d be interested in your outtake. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03rX2V2JZS0&t=877s

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This should read – Sinema unable to be blackmailed or bought off. Fellow colleagues sell her out because they are.

@RedPillPharmacist