A Tennessee student who was mocked by adults for sharing a story of his grandmother dying of COVID said he felt “shaken” but undeterred from encouraging people to mask up. At the Rutherford County school board meeting on Tuesday night, Grady Knox said his grandma, a former Rutherford teacher, died “because someone wasn’t wearing a mask.” Anti-mask adults in the room interrupted him with laughter and heckles. “It was complete insanity, from my perspective,” Knox later told News 4 Nashville. “If they laugh at me about, like, a personal story about my grandmother, that’s just disrespectful... I was like shaken a little bit.”
Board member Claire Maxwell said the board was “ashamed” of the incident. And Knox got the last laugh: a school mask mandate was approved. “I don’t really think it matters what the crowd thinks of me. Overall, they’re not the ones making the decisions,” he said. Meanwhile, at least eight Tennessee public school employees have died of COVID since the school year began, according to Tennessee Lookout.