The Lee County School Board voted unanimously to take no action against Republican board member Sherry-Lynn Womack after board attorney Jimmy Love found she violated no board policies by attending the Trump Rally in Washington, D.C., last month.
Womack was cleared after a long school board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 9.
As reported by the News and Observer, Lee County Sheriff Tracy Carter voiced support for Womack.
“I do not believe Sherry-Lynn Womack went to Washington, D.C., with intent to participate in criminal activity,” he said. “Nor do I believe she did participate in any of the horrendous criminal activity that took place that day. What I do believe is she went to D.C. to express her right as an American citizen.”
“It was ridiculous what they did, to be honest,” Womack told the News and Observer. “It spent taxpayer dollars on what never should have been spent. It’s cancel culture.”
As highlighted by WRAL, supporters of Womack gathered Tuesday night before the school board meeting to demonstrate support for her right to speak out.
“She has been badgered and harassed and tormented ever since this came down,” said Miriam Chu, adding that she felt the investigation into Womack was a “witch hunt.”
“She is the epitome of an American patriot and a caring woman,” said Michele Morrow. “She does not deserve to be attacked like this.”
Womack spent 33 years in the U.S. Army and retired as a lieutenant colonel. She faced a firestorm for attending the event despite not taking part in any efforts to storm the Capitol.
“I went to support the president and all the good things I feel like he has done for our country,” said Womack in an interview with CJ.
But before she left the area, Womack spoke to a reporter for the USA Today. She was identified by the news outlet as a member of the Lee County School Board in Sanford.
“I’m not one of those conspiracy theorists,” she added, citing what she called suspicious videos from Georgia. “But these are legitimate questions that need to be asked.”
As Carolina Journal reported last month, the Lee County board voted 5-2 to have its attorney investigate whether Womack violated policy.
Dr. Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation director of the Center for Effective Education, was highly critical of the efforts to investigate Womack.
“The horrifying events at the U.S. Capitol have led to the creation of an equally horrifying new offense: guilt by proximity. Lee County school officials have launched an investigation because she was near wrongdoing while exercising her First Amendment right to assemble peaceably.”
“Her identification as a school board member is immaterial. Citizens do not forfeit their First Amendment rights when they are elected to office, nor should they refrain from exercising those rights freely. If our elected officials fear reprisal for the exercise of their First Amendment rights in the public square, then we will do irreparable harm to the offices they hold.”