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Town hall leads to shoving match in Alpena

The altercation only delayed the meeting for a few minutes. Alpena Superintendent Dave Rabbideau said the meeting was otherwise successful.

Debates over critical race theory, masking in schools and transgender students participating in sports have raged in school districts across the country.

On Tuesday, August 4, the issues landed in Alpena. What was supposed to be a civil ‘town hall’ meeting briefly turned into a shoving match.

While 2015 graduate Mitchel Dipsinski spoke out on behalf of Alpena’s queer community, a parent approached the stage. He said later, on Facebook, that he wanted to record the remarks.

When another man blocked his path, a shoving match ensued.

Alpena Superintendent Dave Rabbideau said the altercation shouldn’t distract from what was otherwise a successful meeting.

“This is two individuals,” Rabbideau said. “They were in each other’s faces. That’s not the story. The story is the success of people coming together and sharing in a respectful manner, and that happened for 99.9% of the meeting.”

Local police were at the meeting, and have not responded to requests for comment.

The next town hall is set for September 14.