School board members quitting across U.S., local candidate won't let that dissuade her
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- More and more school board members across the country are suddenly quitting their positions as meetings grow more heated and political.
Central Virginia has seen its share of these types of meetings.
Christa Bennett, who is running for the Charlottesville City School Board, says she read an article about this issue right after she planned her upcoming campaign activities.
For Bennett, it's not pushing her away.
One Nevada school board member said he had thoughts of suicide before stepping down amid threats and personal attacks, while other school board members from coast to coast are stepping down.
In Central Virginia, tensions were rising as politics crept into mask debates at a Fluvanna County School Board meeting.
"We know that masks don't work. That's why the people who mandated them don't wear them when no one is looking. It is political theater and we should all say no,” said Fifth District Republican Congressman Bob Good at one meeting.
And Bennett knows this could happen.
“Some of these school board meetings that the article described and I've seen online where people are being really really mean and I don't think that's ever called for,” she said.
School board members are largely unpaid volunteers, so for many, the online harassment isn't worth it.
For Bennett, the issues that are now politicized have fueled her campaign.
"Critical Race Theory, and protecting all of our students, transgender, nonbinary, that is why I am running for school board,” she said.
And though there have been many heated school board meetings across the country, Bennett says she does not anticipate violence will be a problem in the city.
"Even when we have disagreements, we kind of come at them with an open-hearted approach and wanting to work together to solve problems,” she added.