Mask debate in Rutherford County Schools shows some adults can act like children

Sep 08, 2021 at 10:23 am by Michelle Willard

Erica Casher laughs as a Rutherford County Schools student talks about the impact of his grandmother's death from COVID-19. (Screenshot from Twitter/Murfreesboro Holler)

I learned along ago not to sit directly behind the speaker at a publicly televised meeting unless I wanted the world to see me. This lesson came the hard way when I got a text in the middle of a Murfreesboro City Council meeting from my mother telling me how unflattering the shirt I had on was. From then on, I usually sat against a wall, far away from the lectern and the gaze of the camera. 

Erica Casher is learning this lesson the hard way too.

She was unfortunate enough to pick a seat in line of sight of the camera at Tuesday night's special-called Rutherford County School Board meeting and her behavior was broadcast for all to see.

Now she is currently getting dragged across the internet for her immature behavior. She might even get canceled (to invoke a conservative buzz word) with folks from across the nation calling for her to lose her job.

In previous comments to WKRN news, Casher, who is a registered nurse, said masks should be a parent's choice.

"I'm concerned about mandating them. I saw that in Williamson County, obviously, they did. COVID obviously is real. As a healthcare provider I'm aware of that," she said. "But, it's been used to take away our individual liberties over the last year."

But it wasn't comments like these that drew the ire of the internet. Here's a clip from Murfreesboro Holler that captures her reaction:

The student speaking was about how the death of his grandmother from COVID-19 impacted him and how he fears carrying the disease back into his home. The fear is well-founded. Following scarcely a month in school and about a quarter of the entire student body in Rutherford County has been quarantined. A fact that, Casher must find amusing by the look on her face.

Her sign says "Let our kids smile," but now the entire nation is seeing hers. 


Now that she made national news, people have inundated her employer on Facebook, Twitter and even TikTok with calls for her to be fired. (Click on the Facebook post to read the comments).

Casher's behavior in particular has become the face of immaturity, representing much of what's wrong with public dialogue surrounding COVID-19 and precautions to prevent its spread.

It's one thing to disagree about how effective masks are or whether you want to get vaccinated. It's another thing completely to heckle children who had the courage to speak out about their concerns because family members have died from COVID-19. 

At this point, almost all of us have lost someone to COVID-19. And I, for one, am sick and tired (no pun intended) of doing my best to prevent the spread of the disease by getting vaccinated, staying home and wearing masks, only to have immature, selfish people like Casher laugh and smirk and act a fool because they have been convinced it's a conspiracy.

I don't think she deserves to be fired or "canceled," but I do think she seriously needs to evaluate what about her beliefs makes it appropriate to laugh at the grief of a child.

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