Three men have assaulted a school principal who told a student to quarantine following exposure to COVID-19. The principal at Mesquite Elementary School, Diane Vargo, said the father of the boy and two men came into her office with zip ties for advising that the student quarantine according to health guidelines from the Pima County Health Department, The Washington Post writes.
An employee of the school had called the parent of the child that his son was in close contact with another student who tested positive for COVID-19. The parent was advised to keep the child isolated for one week before returning to school after tests show him negative for the disease. But the parent stormed the school and then called two men who came with zip ties to threaten the principal.
The men together with the young boy came into the principal’s office and threatened to affect a citizen’s arrest if the boy was not allowed back to class. The men also videoed the incidents and shared the videos on their Instagram pages after the incident. The parent of the child had threatened on social media to deal with the situation before asking people to rise up for his son.
Principal Vargo called the police when the men would not leave, but they actually left before the police came.
“Apparently, Mesquite Elementary thinks they can break the law and act like the COVID Gestapo,” one of the men who accompanied the parent to the school stated on social media. “We will be headed over there shortly to disagree. Come join us because we won’t have this in OUR community! If necessary, we’ll do a citizen’s arrest…with law enforcement zip ties.”
Vargo said she was scared when the men became very aggressive to staff and to her in her office. She said she tried to explain that she was simply following local government guidelines, but the men would not hear. Eventually she had to leave them in her office in order to call in the police.
“My door is open to talk to parents,” she said. “But the way he did it was not OK. Bringing zip ties to a principal’s office — that’s not OK. He had video in my face, and two other men barged into my office. And one of them was carrying zip ties. They were three big men. I was scared. My assistant was scared. I asked them to leave, and they would not.”
The principal said she felt really bad that the parent and his accomplices demonstrated such aggressiveness in the presence of the young student. “His father wanted him here. He sat right next to him, and he witnessed all of it. He saw the threats. He saw the aggressiveness. He saw the large zip ties. He saw it all, and I felt really, really bad for him.”