Charges of criminal trespass have been dropped against Rochester, N.Y., radio talker Shannon Joy, who found herself in handcuffs after she attended her local school board meeting in August. Joy and a group of other concerned parents attended the Fairport Central School District meeting on behalf of their children. During the meeting, the school board sent security to harass Joy and others whose masks slipped beneath their noses.
On Tuesday, PJ Media attended Joy’s press conference before the arraignment. “Many parents see the bully tactics that sometimes employed by school boards and superintendents who don’t want to hear from parents about their children’s education,” she told a crowd of supporters outside the courthouse in Perinton, New York.
Shannon Joy, a mother and local radio host in Rochester, New York, livestreamed authorities removing her from a Fairport Central School District school board meeting. “Yup. I was handcuffed & detained by Monroe County Sheriff tonight for inappropriately wearing my mask at the Fairport School District board meeting,” she posted to social media.
I was arrested for wearing my mask improperly. By a barefaced police officer and another with the mask under her chin. How is this America? pic.twitter.com/wGPraNExu7
— Shannon Joy (@ShannonJoyRadio) August 25, 2021
It should be noted that in Monroe County and surrounding counties, no one is required to wear a mask anywhere except in public schools, government buildings, and some doctors’ offices. There is no government mandate anymore. Stores, restaurants, and malls are completely mask-free. The arbitrary nature of “wear a mask on school property” when it isn’t required anywhere else makes little sense, other than to be used as a weapon of power over citizens.
On August 25, I was unlawfully arrested for improper masking at a school board meeting. Fairport sought to intimidate me & ALL PARENTS @FCSDtweets to dissuade free speech.
Today we FIGHT BACK to get all charges dismissed.
— Shannon Joy (@ShannonJoyRadio) September 14, 2021
Joy told the Daily Wire, “It is becoming blatantly apparent that the Fairport School Board, Superintendent Brett Provenzano, and outside organization ‘Black In The Burbs’ collaborated to create meeting conditions designed to result in my arrest.” Joy believes she was targeted by the board for her activism. “I have been an outspoken community organizer with a large media platform and am often critical of the board’s policy & practices regarding masking, coerced vaccination, Critical Race Theory & Comprehensive Sex Education,” she said.
“These individuals are so frightened of transparency and organic, open discourse that they sought to silence, intimidate and publicly humiliate me to serve as a warning to any other parent who dares to speak up,” Joy continued. “Instead, they have inadvertently outraged our community even further.”
As soon as Joy’s hearing began on Tuesday, the prosecutor dropped all charges “in the interest of justice,” noting that the criminal trespass was not serious enough to continue using the state’s resources.
When Joy greeted the waiting crowd of supporters outside with the news, she was met with cheers.
“I feel good for everyone here,” said a jubilant Joy. “This was for all of you as much as it was for me,” she continued. “Parents are very concerned about what’s happening in their schools right now for a variety of reasons and they need to be a part of that process. For school boards and superintendents to make an example out of me so they can intimidate all of you—for them to be so roundly dismissed and summarily dismissed in such a dramatic way is a victory for the people.”
Joy promised that no matter what happened in the courtroom, she would continue the fight for parents to be heard in schools across the country.
Joy’s attorney, Steve Cohen of Hogan Willig told the crowd outside the courthouse, “The question is why the large lawyer presence,” pointing to the team of lawyers behind him representing Joy. “There’s a constitutional issue here. She’s a broadcaster. She’s critical of the government. She dares to speak out. We’re here to make sure she continues to do that.”
Joy promised she would be back attending future school board meetings very soon.
Joy isn’t the only activist who has been arrested in Monroe County for similarly questionable reasons. Rochester attorney Chad Hummel was arrested for not wearing a mask outside at his child’s soccer game, 150 feet away from everyone except his immediate family. Three of the four charges against him have been dropped, but the criminal trespass charge is still being litigated. Hummel is also representing another mother who has been outspoken at school board meetings in a nearby county. She was recently arrested under similar circumstances when her autistic son, who has a mask exemption, was kicked off the bus after an alleged physical struggle with the driver over masking.
“My attorneys at Hogan Willig will work to get all charges dropped on September 14th and we will be looking at filing lawsuits as well,” Joy told the Daily Wire. And that’s exactly what happened.
Watch PJ Media’s coverage below.