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Union County Board of Education member attributes rise of COVID-19 cases to ‘illegal’ immigrants

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 11:13 PM EDT
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UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Another local school board of education member made a comment about the COVID-19 pandemic and immigration.

Union County School Board member Gary Sides blamed rise COVID-19 on “illegal, or undocumented” immigrants coming into this country.

“So, if our government isn’t going to address such an event, estimated hundreds of thousands of people going across the country who haven’t been tested or vaccinated, then how are we to believe, I have a hard time believing, what they are instructing the rest of us to do,” Sides said at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Another board member, John Kirkpatrick, responded.

“Madam Chair, if I may, I think that was uncalled for personally because that has nothing to do with what we as a board are responsible for as it pertains to with these children and families in Union County Schools,” Kirkpatrick said.

Sides also mentioned that was his personal opinion. Kirkpatrick went on to say while it was his opinion, he felt it was degrading to some of the district’s families.

This came at Tuesday’s school board meeting that where there was a heated debate about masks and COVID-19 protocols.

Many in attendance continued to fight for masks being optional, while others continued to argue that masks should be mandatory in schools.

Union County Public Schools will have masks optional.

Sides’ remarks follow the same comments relayed by Cabarrus County Board of Education member Tim Furr who blamed the case increase on “illegal aliens by the thousands coming across that border without masks, with COVID.”

“I’m not trying to be on a high horse and I’m not trying to make this political, but until this government keeps illegal aliens by the thousands coming across that border without masks, with COVID, putting them on buses, sending them all over the United States, we’re just beating our heads against the wall. Because these numbers are going to continue to rise, and we’re going to be having this same discussion day after day and week after week,” Furr said.

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