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Police Remove Mask Refusenik from Mitchell School Board Meeting

Meanwhile, some yokel refuses to protect his neighbors from coronavirus by complying with the Mitchell School District’s mask mandate…

People at the meeting tell Dakota News Now that Bender chose not to wear a mask and was asked to either wear a mask or leave the meeting.

In July, the school board put in place a mask mandate for the district.

When Bender refused both those options, authorities arrived to escort him out.

One of the officers can be seen removing his taser from his holster but the taser was not used.

Bender can be seen eventually leaving with the two officers [“Man Removed from Mitchell School Board Meeting After Refusing to Wear Mask,” KSFY, 2020.09.14]”

The SDGOP spin blog sniffs disdainfully at the use of “force to compel mask wearing.” As usual, the SDGOP spin blog misses the point. The Mitchell school board didn’t force Bender to put on a mask. Police didn’t pin Bender and strap a mask over his muzzle. The Mitchell school board asked people at the meeting to comply with their health and safety rules, as surely as they ask students every day to comply with the dress code or ask visitors to the school to comply with other regulations for the safe and orderly operation of the school. When Bender refused, they asked Bender to leave. When Bender refused to leave, the board didn’t call police to enforce the mask mandate; the board called police to handle a disruptive individual who refused to comply with a proper order to leave the meeting.

If SDGOP spin blogger Pat Powers were to listen to his neighbor, political scientist Dr. Bob Burns, he’d understand that liberty depends on accepting certain limitations on our behavior for the good of everyone. But Powers and his party (the same people who had an authoritarian freak-out when protestors packed the Capitol gallery in Pierre and made a ruckus about the repeal of Initiated Measure 22 in 2017) are now the party of rank selfishness and defiance of public order.


  1. Owen 2020-09-15 08:39

    This incident underscores the need for leadership that needs to come from Pierre.
    If a mask requirement would have been put into place by Gov. Noem this probably wouldn’t have happened. But the governor’s lack of leadership has caused problems for superintendents, mayors, city councils and school boards across the state.
    What Noem has done is what her hero Donald Trump does. Pass the buck. That is not what leadership is

  2. leslie 2020-09-15 09:57

    Probably all true, in hindsight, obviously. No disrespect. Had Bender not been a typical white SD red neck, but a respectful, decent person of good conscience and judgement (i.e. a liberal :), this would not have happened. Why else would you enter such a meeting?

    Deescalation training certainly would not suggest pulling a weapon by LEO unless there were aggravating circumstances that were not here revealed. In SD and ND if you are a person of color you could lose your hearing, your sight or your life from LEO/Natl Guard crowd dispersion tactics (pepper spray/damaging audio pulse) mass deployed in local pipeline protests. In Mitchell under certain non-white-privileged circumstances you could be suffocated with a LEO knee to the throat. If you were carrying concealed/open or wearing your sexy AR15 on your kevlar body armor, while refusing to mask for a public meeting in a public building as required/notified, you could defend yourself and mow down most of the attendees with your 30 capacity banana magazine, before being shot in a hail of LEO and private bullets after your magazine emptied on full auto (illegal, btw). Dead and wounded everywhere!

    Mixing guns with daily civil business is a recipe for disaster, obviously. But if you have the December 2018 NRA’s America 1st Freedom magazine in your back pocket, having read it in the dentist office before the school board meeting, you would be understandibly enraged by the magazine’s cover headline and rhetoric:

    “ALL THOSE FOR MOB RULE, RAISE YOUR HAND (color photo of dark sweaty muscular gloved arm clutching burning Molotov Cocktail):

    Harassing public officials…threatening their families, cornering them in the halls of congress, shouting them down in the halls of Congress, shouting them down in chambers, running them out of town halls and college campuses…: How incivility of those who cannot get their way threatens the foundations of our democracy. P34”

    Thugs, mob rule, inciting passion of lost freedom, the message: resist with guns—NRA’s essential message (to sell more guns).

    So…. The Leadership idea from our governor-wear a camouflage tactical cap with removable message patches like camo flag or “live free or die” bullsheit messaging for her photo ops to dogwhistle paramilitary militia idiots.

    Don’t take action during a crisis. Climate. Pandemic. Fail to timely inform public of details of hit and run fatality by the top, likely incompetent political LEO, the AG. As our national AG openly floughts the law for political power. A lack of Republican official transparency. So the public speculates.

  3. leslie 2020-09-15 10:14

    Oh, i forgot. Steve, say “hi” to Tim!

  4. jerry 2020-09-15 14:16

    Here is how to take care of anti maskers, make them grave diggers.

    “Eight people in Gresik regency, East Java, were ordered by local authorities to dig graves for those who have died of COVID-19 as punishment for not wearing face masks in public. Cerme district head, Suyono, said that he punished residents who did not wear face masks by making them dig graves at a public cemetery in Ngabetan village.

    This article was published in with the title “Gresik residents made to dig graves as punishment for not wearing face masks”. Click to read:

    If there gonna think that this is all a hoax, then by all means, let them see for themselves.

  5. leslie 2020-09-15 14:33

    One last thought. Assuming Jason is truthful, no one knew there had been a death, or anything to investigate until 8 am Sunday, 9 at the latest. So many similarities to the other white pickup incident. “Innuendos.”

    Odd however in comparison to Friday and Saturday DPS notices, no detail was offered where AG was involved. Certainly both vehicles, when discovered, may provide additional evidence, but Sheriff’s loan obviates further question Jason had detectible BAC. Urinalysis would have revealed other intoxicants. The initial report may show how thorough the sheriff was considering both vehicles, locations, and debris. A deer is not that big a deal. Driving a damaged car back to town or to Pierre is a bigger deal. Law of Phone Use on the road has changed recently, perhaps.

    I was stuck in badlands gumbo with a 3 yo freaked out grandchild until 3 am after a sunset Sheep Mountain wedding. Covered with mud digging with my hands in my finest, for hours, when the trooper or sheriff finally came out looking, but he wouldn’t pull me out with a tug on a tow strap with his cruiser. He had a flashlight, but a further 3 second assist was against policy (insurance, likely) so he did call a tow truck which arrived 2 hours later.

    I inspired love in my kids for that wilderness; but the grand child, it remains to be seen.

  6. jerry 2020-09-15 14:52

    Scientific American has endorsed Joe Biden. That’s a pretty big deal unless your a trumper who has difficulty even spelling those two words.

    “Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history. This year we are compelled to do so. We do not do this lightly.

    “The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September. He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges. That is why we urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment. These and other proposals he has put forth can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future.”

  7. Debbo 2020-09-15 16:39

    He didn’t get to have his way, but he did get attention. Hope he feels all manly now.

  8. John 2020-09-15 21:04

    It’s likely that if this occurred in an urban setting and Bender was black, that the cops may have shot him or knelt on his neck. Cannot say I’d have remorse. Some people like Bender, have no concept of what social responsibility is or what civil society asks of us.

    He apparently fought with the police. That appears as more than grounds for felony and/or Class 1 misdemeanor charges. Where’s the Davison County SA?

  9. ronald fuchs 2020-09-16 08:04

    Did you hear Reed’s response to the officer of color? He called him the minority cop and said people of his kind get these jobs- RACISM- all about the right wing

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-16 12:14

    No doubt, John. Racist Trumpist white yahoos get treated with kid gloves compared to how black suspects are treated.

    And Ronald—wow! overt racism on top of mask refusal and anarchist tendencies—it’s really hard to fight a pandemic with jerks like that around hell-bent on pushing their racist political agenda.

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