MAYS CHAPEL, Md. (WJZ) — Tempers flare at the site of a Baltimore County park–set to become a new school. The county executive fires back at opponents of the school construction.
And it all happened in front of a group of children.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the confrontation.
Protesters say this fight has been brewing for two and a half years, and Friday, it erupted.
A fiery showdown. Protesters heckle County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, and he fired back.
“What’s really sad is that we have adults who act like children. It really is disgraceful,” Kamenetz told the crowd.
The volley of insults went back and forth for several minutes. The county executive telling one man: “Sir, you’ve got a big mouth.”
“They were very rude and wouldn’t let anybody speak,” said Melissa Whatley, mother.
Her third-grader was there with her classmates to do the Pledge of Allegiance.
“They were pretty much caught in the crossfire between the person at the podium and the people that were yelling,” she said.
The protesters have been fighting for two and a half years to stop the county from bulldozing Mays Chapel Park to build a new elementary school.
His voice drowned out by protesters, Kamenetz yelled at the crowd.
“It’s my job to talk and your job to listen right now,” he said.
“We have been listening to you. You haven’t been listening to us. This is our chance to be heard,” said Whistler Burch, Save Mays Chapel Park Committee.
He says his group is frustrated because county leaders refuse to meet with them.
“There has been no dialogue and this was a way of venting their anger,” he said.
The county executive tells WJZ he felt screaming and shouting down public officials was an inappropriate way for the protesters to express their dissatisfaction with the issue.
“Show some class,” he told the crowd.
Now frustrations have hit a boiling point.
The protesters have filed a lawsuit, and say they will continue their fight to save the park.
Officials say the new elementary school will help ease overcrowding at eight other schools in the county.