New Hanover Co. Board of Education will not discuss mask policy at next meeting despite Proud Boys’ appearance

Kraybill had asked for a discussion about the board's mask policy for meetings to be put on the agenda for next week, but the discussion will wait until April.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 6:47 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Members of a far-right extremist group called the Proud Boys have attended several New Hanover County Board of Education meetings in recent months.

The group wears masks to those meetings, which District Attorney Ben David says is illegal. Despite the state law, New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon says he will not enforce that law.

Stephanie Kraybill, a school board member, had asked for a discussion about the board’s mask policy for meetings to be put on the agenda for the next regular meeting on March 7. Board Chairman Pete Wildeboer said during an agenda review meeting Tuesday that any discussion about that policy will have to wait until April.

“The agenda has come up and we have a lot of things to discuss,” said Wildeboer. “It will be discussed. The policy says it will be discussed in the next two meetings, so it is on for the April meeting.”

Chants broke out from some members of the crowd during February’s board meeting calling for members of the Proud Boys to be removed from the building. Kraybill hopes that does not happen again at next week’s meeting.

“I am upset we’re not talking about it in March,” Kraybill said. “We’ll see what happens in March and if we have another situation like we had last month, then, you know, that will just show that the urgency is necessary.”

Kraybill wants to make sure the board complies with state laws.

“All I’m looking at is to make sure that we would apply the law across the board to all of our attendees, and that everybody at the meeting feels safe and feels able to speak their mind without having any retaliation,” Kraybill said. “It is not against one group at all.”

The school board will meet at 5 p.m. next Tuesday, March 7, at the Board of Education Center.