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US - September 3, 2021

Arizona School Principal Threatened With Zip Ties After Asking Student To Quarantine

Police were summoned to the campus of an Arizona elementary school this week after a student’s father allegedly threatened the principal with a citizen’s arrest because she was enforcing COVID-19 protocols.

Vail Unified School District Superintendent John Carruth told local outlet KOLD News 13 that several students at Mesquite Elementary School, located about 27 miles southeast of Tucson, were required to quarantine this week after coming into contact with a person who had tested positive for COVID-19. 

The father of one of those students, however, disagreed with the school’s decision. On Thursday, he and two other men ― one of whom was reportedly carrying zip ties ― confronted Principal Diane Vargo in her office. 

Video footage of the alleged incident shows one of the men, who says he is not the father of the student in question, accusing Mesquite Elementary School staff of “bullying children and families.”

“What’s happening is wrong, and we’re not going to have this in our community,” the man says in the clip. “We do not tolerate law breakers who are going to bully their own people, make kids feel like they’re criminals, quarantine and isolate kids that aren’t sick.”

Vargo was not harmed in the incident. The three men left the school before police arrived, and no arrests have been made. 

Carruth condemned the altercation in an interview with The Washington Post on Friday.

“One of the most powerful tools as adults is the behavior that we model to young people — and the behavior that was modeled today makes me really sad,” he said. “Showing up to a school with zip ties is not a way to solve a problem.”

The news follows several other incidents of parents protesting COVID-19 protocols as schools reopen while the delta variant continues to spread.

Jason Wages of Sutter Creek, California, is facing misdemeanor charges for battery of a school employee, disruptive presence at a school and disturbing the peace by using offensive language after allegedly attacking a teacher at his daughter’s elementary school in a dispute over masks. The teacher reportedly required hospital treatment. 

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