GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Gwinnett County Public Schools police have arrested two women in two incidents before the county's school board meeting Thursday night.
A Gwinnett County Schools spokesperson confirmed with FOX 5 that two people were taken into custody before the meeting and charged with criminal offenses.
According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, the two people were Snellville resident Karen Pirkle and Suwannee resident Brenda Stewart. Pirkle reportedly was not allowed on Gwinnett County Public School property after a confrontation over face masks at a school board meeting in October.
Karen Pirkle and Brenda Stewart (Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office)
"The arrests were not about masks or their refusal to wear them. The one individual had received a criminal trespass warning based on behavior at last month’s meeting. As a result, she is not allowed on any GCPS property," school district spokeswoman Sloan Roach told FOX 5. "She violated that by attempting to come to the meeting."
Roach said the other woman rushed through the county's new metal detectors and was stopped by officers.
"During a search of her bag, scissors were found. She was told she could not bring those in. She grabbed for the scissors, struggling with the officer," Roach said.
The two women were charged with criminal trespass and obstruction of a police officer respectively.
The arrests come on the first meeting that Gwinnett County Public Schools required all attendees to go through a metal detector and a security screening before public meetings - additional safety measures put in place after months of heated debate and protest.
The school board says that the additional safety measures are to ensure the safety of everyone who attends and to keep meetings civil, but some parents argue that the measures are a waste of money and an effort to scare them away from protesting.