CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – School board members have a tough task in deciding whether schools should be open during this pandemic. There's been a lot of backlash directed at them, and for some, it's gone too far.
"We've had to step up security for myself and my family," said Chandler Unified School District Board Member Lindsay Love.
As Love quarantines for potentially having COVID-19, she's reading a voicemail that Chandler police are now investigating. "The death threat was you're going to get knifed you ******* ****," said Love.
Among the reasons Love believes she's getting threats, her stance on not reopening schools as COVID cases surge. "I'm just interested to see what the district can do in trying to reopen the district safely with protecting our teachers and families overall," said Love.
Creighton School Board President Jeanne Casteen has received messages, too. "I've been called a disgrace to my community," said Casteen.
School board members are not public health experts but find themselves playing that role without specific instructions from the state health department on when schools should close or stay open.
"For whatever reason, this has become a politically divisive issue, and the buck keeps getting passed down," said Casteen.
School board members like Love and Casteen continue to suffer the brunt of unhappy parents and the unwarranted onslaught of insults and now threats.
"I have to take my own personal security measures; Doug Ducey has security; it should be incumbent upon him to do what is brave instead of leaving it to volunteers," said Love.
Arizona's Family reached out to the Governor's Office with the school board members' complaints and received the following response:
From the very beginning of this pandemic, our office has worked closely with public health officials and the Arizona Department of Education. This partnership has resulted in a plan that provides sound guidance and resources to schools to help them respond to the pandemic and keep students and staff safe. This plan was developed after many meetings and in consultation with school leaders and superintendents. It is statewide, and has been in place for some time now. It requires that masks be worn in schools. And we have provided resources, along with resources from the federal government, to fund it.