The humdrum of Marion County, Florida's regular school board meeting was punctured Tuesday night when the board's vice chair looked into the cameras and launched into a bizarre five-minute discussion of her daughter, federal agents, Islam, 9-11 codes, and a man named Ahmed.
School Board Vice Chair Angie Boynton, a onetime Marion County Republican of the Year and tea party endorsee, "is typically quiet at board meetings and usually only makes brief comments," according to the Ocala Star-Banner reporter who was covering the meeting Tuesday night. But toward the session's end, she took things in a decidedly un-school-related direction, saying that an unnamed person wanted her to communicate with him on air during the meeting:
"There is someone watching this television show tonight who would like for me to respond to some questions for them," she said. "I got your message and I do believe that God is greater than any concern you sent to me."
She stated that, "I can't bow down to Islam, in the sense that I was raised to love and respect God — the God that I know."
Then, Boynton spoke to the unknown person about the "message" she received.
"I will say to you, you understand that I did meet with Ahmed," she said. "Like Ahmed understood, I will walk away from anything confrontational."
The vague, allusive speech went on for some time—you can see it in full below, starting around the 49-minute mark—and at one point, Boynton addressed her listeners' befuddlement:
"Just so you understand, a lot people don't know I was going through a lot of things and I kept it to myself.
"I broke down a code. And I sent it to George Bush, former president George Bush. And I also sent it to former Gov. Jeb Bush. And I think my actions in breaking that code down, coming from where I am from, will let you know that ..."
She then stopped and addressed the board.
"It was about 9/11 ... you are going to get sketchy thoughts. I am not able to talk to anyone about it. And the police are not able to come near me and they should continue their stance with that. I do have help, and I am OK. But there was someone who wanted to hear something on TV."
In a later interview with the Star-Banner, Boynton insisted that she was not mentally disturbed: "I'm not crazy. I am not on medication, I'm not under counseling. I know it sounds strange but I can't talk about it right now."
A local TV crew asked Boynton about the nature of the threat she alluded to in her speech. "I can't say all of that," she answered. "I can't tell you all of that, but there was movement around my house, OK?"
When asked if she felt she could handle her job, she said yes: "I have been doing it for so long. I think there are others that can vouch in spite of any circumstance in my life, I fulfill my job."
Ahmed was not available for comment.