August 2021 Williamson County Schools board mob

A screenshot from the Williamson Home Page's August 2021 viral Williamson County Schools board meeting shows Franklin resident Michael Miller being confronted by Rod Lunn and John Dwayne Larring, two members of an anti-mask mob.

Nearly one year after a chaotic Williamson County Schools board meeting went viral, no charges have been filed and the criminal investigation is closed. 

That August 2021 incident saw a crowd of anti-mask protesters devolve into a mob that harassed several pro-mask community members, including parents and medical professionals, with one man being chased to his car and surrounded by the enraged mob shouting things like, “We know who you are, and we will find you.”

In September 2021, the Williamson Home Page was informed that the incident was still under investigation by Williamson County Sheriff's Office (WCSO). However, it wasn’t until June 2022, after several inquiries, that the Home Page was informed that the investigation was closed.

In July 2022, per an open records request, the Home Page obtained the incident report from the meeting and the subsequent investigation which was closed in December 2021. 

That report details that the man seen in the video in his car surrounded by the crowd, and listed by WCSO as the “victim,” was Franklin resident Michael Miller.

According to the incident report, Miller initially consulted an attorney about his legal options before declining to press charges against anyone in the mob, a decision that was communicated to WCSO in a November 2021 email. 

“If the perpetrators were arrested on the spot by the officers present (as should have been done), I would have fully cooperated and done whatever I could to help the prosecution,” Miller said in that email to a WCSO sergeant.

“However; that was not the case, and I don't wish to make myself a further target by filing misdemeanor charges that will require a jury trial, just to see these individuals get the equivalent of a slap on the wrist. Further, any motion to get a restraining order would serve to escalate the situation, and I'm certain these individuals would have friends who would act on their behalf in attacking my family or I.”

“It's a miracle that none of the individuals there brandished a gun or other weapon,” the email continued, with Miller adding that he had not received any further contact from the people in the video.

“The situation is infuriating, as it feels like justice cannot be served properly here. The individuals should have been arrested on the spot and were not. The officers turned their backs and let these people repeatedly aggressively approach my car to threaten me while I was parked in my car.”

Miller declined to comment on the closure of the case or issue any statement to the Home Page, but he did previously appear in a CNN interview.

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An anti-mask demonstrator yells at a Williamson County School Board member as she is told to leave a Williamson County School Board meeting in Franklin on Aug. 10, 2021.

21st Judicial District Attorney General Kim Helper said in an email that her office never received a referral for charges from WCSO.

The two most prominent aggressors in the video were identified by WCSO as Rodney Hall Lunn, (who in 2021 said that he didn’t even have children,) and John Dwayne Larring, a musician and audio engineer known professionally as Dwayne Larring.

In a 2021 interview with WSMV News 4 Nashville, Lunn, a self-described “fiery guy,” went into damage-control mode and attempted to excuse his actions by saying, “We’re not being listened to — We’re just being told what to do,” and claimed that “the situation was more controlled than it looks like,” adding that his actions were “in no way a threat.”

And as the viral video was recorded by the very reporter who is writing this update, the mob that was never directly confronted by the multiple law enforcement officials on scene after some had already been forcefully removed from the meeting room by deputies.

WCS school board crowd

A packed crowd of people, some with signs, showed up for the special-called meeting of the Williamson County Board of Education Tuesday night. 

According to the incident report, Lunn is a resident of Brentwood, while Larring is a resident of Franklin, and both were being investigated by WCSO for “intimidation.” 

It’s unclear if Larring has any children in the WCS school system or had any personal reasons for being invested in the issue of masks in public schools.

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Williamson County Sheriff's Office deputies stand guard to a door leading to the Williamson County Schools school board meeting on August 10, 2021, which saw hundreds of anti-mask protesters gather inside and outside of the meeting room.

The day after the meeting, Williamson County Schools said in a statement that “there’s no excuse for incivility,” and two days after, WCSO Sheriff Dusty Rhoades issued a statement to the Home Page which read in full:

“In law enforcement, we have to constantly strike a balance between maintaining the peace while respecting the rights that citizens have for free expression, even when the expression is unpleasant or even hostile. When expression crosses over into behavior that is violent, law enforcement’s role is clear and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office will intervene to address those criminal acts when observed or when they are brought to our attention.

"There needs to be a more civil discourse at public meetings and elsewhere and we will continue to work with other elected officials and community leaders to help strike that balance. We do take our obligation to protect our citizens very seriously and I am always open to suggestions about how we can do a better job.”

Franklin Police Officers were also on scene outside of the building providing assistance to WCSO, who were the lead agency as the meeting was being held on county property.

The incident report details that a different WCSO Sargent, who appeared to be the commanding officer outside of the meeting, never saw anyone touch Miller’s vehicle and “never heard a direct threat of bodily harm towards the male.”

The incident report ends with a December 2021 email that said that no WCSO personnel were disciplined for their soft response, with Sheriff Rhoades saying in the report that “this was a training issue and has been addressed."

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Anti-mask protestors heckle a masked woman who identified herself as a medical professional as she leaves a Williamson County School Board meeting in Franklin on Aug. 10, 2021.

When asked by the Home Page what this training issue was and how it was addressed, Sheriff Rhoades said through a spokesperson that deputies should have moved the crowd back, something that is presumably now part of the department’s crowd-control training.

Even President Joe Biden condemned the incident during a televised address.

While Williamson County temporarily stole the international spotlight for what many saw as the embarrassing actions of dozens of people in the crowd that including local community members, parents, as well as activists from Moms For Liberty and conservative political candidate Robby Starbuck, it was just the start of dozens of examples of adults across the nation protesting the issue of masks in schools.