Man charged with assault after prosecutors said he grabbed another parent at Minnesota school board meeting over the masking

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A man grabs parent Jonas Sjoberg by the shirt during a busy meeting of the Eastern Carver County School Board, Minnesota, September 27, 2021. KARE 11 / YouTube

A parent who prosecutors said grabbed a masked man’s shirt and phone during a rocky Minnesota school board meeting in September has been charged with assault, local reports said.

Prosecutors alleged that Thomas Wayne Kahlbaugh, 47, was dissatisfied with Jonas Sjoberg, a parent who spoke out in favor of the East County School District’s new mask mandate, according to KARE 11. Witnesses told KARE 11 that Kahlbough picked up Sjoberg’s phone and dragged it across the room before two other men intervened.

A live video of the heated school board meeting on September 27 showed a man grabbing Sjoberg by the collar and pulling his phone out of his hand. While it is not clear from the video what caused the altercation, KARE 11 reported that prosecutors alleged that Sjoberg attempted to take a photo of Kalbough with his phone and planned to inform the school board that Kalbough was trying. to threaten him.

Kalbaugh has been charged with assault and disorderly conduct related to the incident, according to KARE 11. Both counts carry sentences of up to 90 days in jail and / or a fine of $ 1,000 , WCCO reported.

Sjoberg had told WCCO last month that his daughter was going to a private school, but he went to the meeting to tell the board he didn’t think a large group of people speaking out against the tenure of district mask were representative of the community.

Sjoberg also told police that his shirt was ripped and he may have been scratched during the altercation, according to KARE.

The school district said in a Sept. 28 statement that it plans to increase the security presence at its board meetings in the future for security reasons.

“The behavior and conduct displayed in our meeting room this week was unacceptable,” the district statement read. “It is healthy for us to disagree and seek more information. It is not acceptable, nor acceptable, to resort to violence or to accuse decision-makers of being Nazis.”

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