Arizona school association supports interest in addressing threats against school officials
The Arizona School Boards Association is supportive of upcoming efforts by the Justice Department to address the spike in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against public school officials.
Throughout the pandemic, schools have been caught in the middle of heated debates over masking and other COVID-19 mitigation policies, and in some cases these discussions have escalated to hostility, said Heidi Vega with the Arizona School Boards Association.
“We did see school board members being harassed, especially online. People were following board members outside of a school board on their way to their vehicle or passing by a school board member’s house," she said.
ABSA has seen these incidents happening in urban, rural and affluent areas of the state alike.
“What we did see here at ASBA that we started to identify was a trend that was very just sad and disgusting was we started to see our women of color, especially our Black women, our Black board members being trolled and harassed the most, especially online," Vega said.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has directed the FBI to meet with other authorities to discuss strategies to address the nationwide issue. The Justice Department also plans on offering training and guidance for school officials on how to spot and report these threats.