The father of an Arizona elementary school student was arrested after he and two other men showed up on campus threatening to make a “citizen’s arrest” to the school principal for quarantining some student’s homes.
The students had been in contact with a positive case of COVID-19 at school so the principal decided to send them home to prevent a spread.
During the afternoon of the same day, the parents of the boys came to the institution upset, claiming that they would have to isolate themselves and miss a school excursion.
Diane Vargo, the principal of Mesquite Elementary School told USA TODAY that one was wearing large military bridles and they were positioning their door.
Vargo said she tried to ease the situation while explaining that the school had to follow county health protocols.
“I felt violated because they were in my office claiming that I was breaking the law and they were going to arrest me,” she said.
The Pima County Health Department has said children must stay at home for seven days after a confirmed exposure to COVID-19. Students are allowed to return to school if they test negative for the virus five days into quarantine and if they have no symptoms for a week.
“The principal through the training and use of her personality did an excellent job of making sure tensions did not escalate,” District Superintendent John Carruth told The Associated Press.
Considering the threats, Carruth said the decision to request the presence of the police was the right call. Most people, while frustrated by the continuing impacts of the pandemic, still support each other and the school system, he said.
This wasn’t the first virus-inspired showdown involving the same school district that time at a school south of Phoenix.
In April this year, the district board ended a study session and then canceled a meeting after parents protested the district’s refusal to lift its mask mandate.