The Richmond County Board of Education officials I spoke with this week all share the same general opinion of Tanya Mount: “She is a colossal flake.”
Of course, those folks have far more of the “real background” on the story that spread like wildfire over the internet and painted Mount as some sort of “put upon champion” of the Second Amendment. From Fox News to The Blaze to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, the Hephzibah mother’s headlines were generous and defensive.
Mrs. Mount’s strange run in with McBean Elementary School Principal Janina Dallas became an international news story after the first local report of her banishment from the school was broken by WRDW’s Jerome Collins early last week.
According to Collins’ story, Mrs. Mount believes she was ordered off school property because the principal was uncomfortable with the fact that Mount had posted a picture of her Georgia Concealed Weapons Permit on Facebook. From the Collins report:
Tanya Mount says she is being targeted by the administrator at her daughter’s school after a meeting between the two several weeks ago.
“I feel like a criminal. I want I want to be heard. I want a public apology,” says Mount. On Wednesday, Mount says she was handed a notice from Richmond County Board of Education police.
“He tells me that were going to issue you a criminal trespass warning,” says Mount. The notice banned her from McBean Elementary School where her disabled daughter attends.
She asked what she did wrong. “The principal is scared of you and she doesn’t want you on the grounds. I ask for what? And he asks were you in the Army and I said yes. He’s like do you have a concealed weapons permit? I said yes,” says Mount.
Mount who is a parent volunteer says she is banned from the school for posting a picture of her new concealed weapons permit on her Facebook page.
She says she has never had any problems with Principal Janina Dallas but says she was blind-sided weeks earlier during a meeting with Dallas.
“She told me that instead of volunteering at the school and playing on the play ground with my daughter I need to be at home doing grown up things,” says Dallas.
Sadly, Collins was unable to get the principal’s side of the story. Sadder still, when WJBF TV reporter Tyrone McCoy was able to catch up with Mrs. Dallas, he only got half the tale. This is from his followup report the next day:
News Channel 6′s Tyrone McCoy asked McBean Elementary Principal Janina Dallas “was the no trespass order issued because of the Facebook post? Principal: yes it was.”
Tanya Mount says the post of her weapons permit was on her private Facebook page. McBean Elementary School Principal Janina Dallas says the order was a preventative measure.
“It is my duty and responsibility as the principal of this school to ensure the safety and security of all of our faculty, staff and students,” explains Principal Dallas.
A plan Tanya Mount agrees with. But she says she didn’t make a threat.
She says “I’m not a criminal, I’ve never been to jail, I’ve never been arrested. I was like what is this for.”
Principal Dallas says several PTO members pointed out instances where Mount would disrupt classes and where Mount said she wouldn’t let anybody bother her daughter
The principal says with the rash of school shootings, coupled with Mount’s comments and the permit, it was cause for alarm.
She adds “there have been a number of school shootings in our country. And inevitably, people will say they saw signs and things of that nature after the fact.”
Even with that, Mount says, this type of action should be taken across the board.
Mount tells News Channel 6′s Tyrone McCoy “if that is the case, then why just single me out? Why not put a bulletin that says attention parents, if you have a concealed weapons permit, please don’t come to the school.”‘
Mount’s daughter has since transferred to another elementary school in the district and she’s gotten her PTO volunteer card back.
According to my sources, the principal’s descriptions of the “disruptions” caused by Mrs. Mount at the school were given serious short-shrift in the McCoy report, and obviously did not appear at all in the original story.
I am told several McBean Elementary teachers and parent volunteers alike were on their last nerve with Mrs. Mount, describing her as “domineering,” “demanding,” “obsessive,” “unreasonable” and “a menace.”
Principal Dallas reportedly had several intense discussions with Mount, explaining that if she did not back off and cut down on the time she spent “volunteering” at the school, she would be forced to require her to do so. This was not one conversation, but several, spanning over the course of several weeks.
During Mount’s vehement defense of her actions at school, she apparently emphasized concerns that her special needs daughter needed to be “protected” from bullies. It was at this point the Concealed Weapons Permit was mentioned, along with her willingness to use it to “protect her child.” Shortly after that discussion, in which Dallas condemned the talk of firearms as a possible defense, Mount posted the picture of her CWP on Facebook.
The post was apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back. Dallas was concerned enough about her tone and her reportedly “aggressive nature” to seek the ban from the school.
Central office officials later agreed to move Mount’s daughter to a new school, with no special restrictions regarding her on campus presence, for the time being.
Though it was not specifically mentioned, one has to wonder if the fact that Mrs. Mount’s husband is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for attempted armed robbery may have something to do with the principal’s reaction to the talk of “weapons” by his wife.
In the meantime, BOE officials really need to do a better job of articulating the full details and background of such conflicts when they arise. Disciplinary issues involving children are usually kept confidential, but if a grown parent is the one acting up, full disclosure should be the rule of the day.
The locals are taking a beating because of the severely underreported details of this case. At least now, you know the rest of the story.
*The views expressed are the opinions of Austin Rhodes and do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher.