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Mask opponent at Florida school board meeting says, 'I want to breathe oxygen'

"You cannot force me to breathe carbon dioxide, lady," one man said about mask-wearing during a board meeting of the Sarasota County Schools in Florida.

A community debate over a large Florida school district's requirement that students wear masks erupted at a board meeting Tuesday evening with police removing a man not wearing a face covering as he spoke against the mandate.

"You cannot force me to breathe carbon dioxide, lady," the man said, according to a video by NBC affiliate WFLA in Tampa. "I am to breathe oxygen," he said, with his mask appearing to be pulled down over his chin.

In another sign of the contentiousness over the mask rule for the district of over 40,000 students, school officials reported to the FBI just hours before the meeting an image of a person pointing a gun that was posted to social media by a group called Sarasota County School District Transparency Project that apparently opposes the district's mask requirement.

The image, which was posted to Facebook two weeks ago, is a YouTube link and is captioned, "Karens Fight Back!".

District spokesperson Craig Maniglia said school officials did not see any imminent threat from the post, but that it is standard procedure for the district to report gun-related posts to the Joint Terrorism Task Force that is part of the FBI.

"Anytime there is an image of a gun associated with our school district, those images/posts (altered or not) are forwarded to the JTTF for investigation," Maniglia said in an email to NBC News on Wednesday.

The group that posted the image did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The school board on Tuesday was considering whether to extend a 90-day requirement for students attending in-person classes to wear masks.

The man who wasn't wearing a face covering as he spoke against them was escorted from the meeting by police.

"Tyranny in Sarasota County!" he said, on his way out, according to the video.

Outside the meeting parents on both sides of the issue protested.

One masked protester pointed a stereo playing Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” toward an unmasked protester while he pointed at her and said, "She's trying to silence my free speech," according to a video postedby a Sarasota Herald-Tribune reporter.

In the end, the school board voted 3-2 to extend the mask mandate.

Asked to comment on the board meeting Tuesday, Manigilia said, "We have a very passionate community and respect the different views and concerns that are voiced at our School Board meetings."