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Rutherford County Parent Arrested

CHASE MATHESON - JANUARY 21, 2022
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN - Did you know that Registered Sex offenders are allowed to pick their children up from school, but that other parents have been banned from doing just that? In fact, after picking his 7-year-old son up from school in November one parent was arrested. Adam Williams, lifelong resident of Rutherford County, was arrested by the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office within 24 hours of picking his child up from school in early November. Mr. Williams alleges that the arrest is retaliation for a formal complaint that was filed on Blackman Elementary Principal Cynthia Ford, and this would not be the first time someone in Rutherford County government retaliated against Mr. Williams for speaking his mind. 
Mr. Williams homeschooled his son during the 2020-2021 school year after his son's religious exemption for the mask mandate was denied. By April of 2021, knowing he could no longer continue to homeschool his son because of the burden it was placing on he and his wife, Mr. Williams did what most parents never get around to--he began attending county school board meetings. The first meeting he went to, Adam was denied entry. The school district had imposed a mask mandate and Mr. Williams was forced to watch the meeting from his cell phone while standing on the sidewalk outside--almost certainly a violation of state and federal laws. In May, the mask mandate was dropped. 

After pressure from outside groups and a surge in the Delta Variant the School Board called 2 meetings and were once again voting on the mask issue. Mr. Williams isn't one who enjoys public speaking, so he simply brought a poster that said "Forced Masking is Child Abuse". 
The mask mandate passed despite the overwhelming turnout of people who were against it, albeit with one slight difference--parents could opt their child out. The Williams family immediately opted their son out and within a few days their 7 year old was sent home from school because he was demonstrating "covid symptoms". There was just one problem: Mr Williams' son only had 1 of the 2 symptoms listed: His son agrees he had a headache--but he swears he never threw up. At this time, quarantine guidelines were different for masked children compared those who had been opted out. Adam was forced to stay home from work for 10 days with his son--who did not have covid. 

When his son was finally allowed to return to school Mr. Williams went to discuss the situation with the school nurse and principal. This is when he says the principal became belligerant with him. He says her behavior was so unprofessional that at one point he had to take a step back and ask her to get out of his face--all of this unfolding in front of his 7-year-old son. Mr. Williams then began looking for a way to file a formal complaint on the principal, and after several weeks he discovered that these complaints are handled solely by the Director of Education. He went through with the complaint. 
That was the week of October 20th. That same week Principal Ford was walking to her car when Mr. Williams was picking his son up from the after school program and when she made what he felt was a sarcastic remark, Mr. Williams informed her that he'd filed a formal complaint against her regarding the behavior she exhibited several weeks prior. At that point Principal Ford said "it don't matter" and then stopped engaging. 2 days later the principal drafted a letter banning him from school property (which she has the discretion to do). The letter threatened him with Aggravated Criminal Trespassing should he step foot on school property. 

There was just one problem--they sent this letter to his ex-wife's address, where Mr. Williams has never lived. So on November 3 when Mr. Williams arrived at Blackman Elementary to pick up his son he was told he needed to leave. When he asked why he was told to "read his letter"--a letter that he did not know existed. He said as much, and insisted that he was going to pick up his son like he had "every day for the last 3 months," and proceeded to walk into the cafeteria where the sign out sheet is located. He signed his son out and while leaving he sees Principal Ford. Adam asked if there was anything he needed to be made aware of, and asked what letter he should have received. 

Instead of communicating with Adam, Principal Ford ignores him and proceeds to call the police. Mr. Williams waited for the police out in the parking lot who very calmly figured out that the letter had been sent to the wrong address and informed him he had now been formally trespassed. Mr. Williams thanked the police officer and immediately left the property--now with a new problem--figuring out how to get his son to and from school without stepping foot on the property. 
This is all recorded on video. The next day, 2 Rutherford County Sheriff's Officer's arrived at Mr. Williams' home and placed him under arrest for "persons improperly on school premises", he spent ~6 hours in jail, had to post a $1000 bond, and has had to retain an attorney. He's not allowed to pick his child up from the after school program; he has not had a response to the formal complaint filed in October; Open Records Requests are still going unanswered. Even more concerning, one of Mr. Williams long-time friends says he was contacted by the FBI in regards to the matter. His court date is February 4, 2022. You might ask how I know so much about this situation? Well, I have been documenting every bit of it. There is video evidence, recorded phone calls, and emails supporting every single statement.


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