A New Britain Township supervisor has been issued a citation for harassment after hitting a woman in the head with a pro-masking sign during a heated news conference last week before a Central Bucks School Board meeting.
Cynthia Jones received the summons Tuesday, one week after the news conference. Court records show she has not entered a plea. Jones, a Democrat who was elected supervisor in 2017, did not return requests for comment Thursday.
In a video circulated online, Jones shoved a sign reading “Masks Save Lives” toward another woman, striking her over the head. She appeared to be trying to block the woman from photographing the event, which featured medical professionals, parents, and students calling on the board to require masking in schools this fall.
Some masking opponents screamed at the speakers, who say they were called “murderers,” “Hitler,” and “illegal aliens” and had to fend off a woman who ran toward them with an outstretched arm.
Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said the Doylestown Township police asked for guidance, and his office advised that a harassment charge against Jones would be warranted. Police declined to comment on the incident.
Weintraub — who has assigned an assistant district attorney to the case “because of the highly charged public and political nature of the incident” — said his office had received “a lot of preemptive contact and calls” before the Central Bucks meeting, and that police were present “in case things got out of hand.”
Between debates over masking and critical race theory, many area school board meetings have become deeply contentious this summer.
Weintraub said township officials and school boards have increasingly been requesting local police agencies’ presence “because the meetings have been very tense lately.”
“The issue is that with social media, everybody is projecting on social media what could potentially occur at these meetings,” he said. “Rather than defusing the tension, it ratchets the tensions up.”