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Poway Unified School District received death threats, board meetings now virtual

Poway Unified School District
Posted at 3:12 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 20:40:53-05

POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) — Poway Unified School District said they will now hold all of their board meetings virtually after board members say over the past several weeks there have been events that have put their safety and well being at risk.

It was during a special five-minute board meeting on Monday that the board unanimously voted to have their meetings be virtual. This move is in accordance with AB-361 which states: when a local agency determines meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health and safety of attendees.

"Due to the continual imminent risk to the health and safety risk of staff and board members we recommend that the board approve conducting the Poway Unified School Districts Board of Education regular scheduled meeting on November 18th online via video conferencing," said Dr. Marian Phelps.

According to 10News' previous reporting, back on September 5, a group of protesters allegedly forced their way into district offices. According to a PUSD statement, those same protesters verbally abused staff. After being asked to leave and refusing to do so, law enforcement advised adjourning the meeting before it even started.

Roughly a month later, Dr. Phelps recalled a similar event. "Hours prior to the October 14 meeting, protesters were arrested by the San Diego police department," she furthered. "Refusing to leave the building after doors were locked, refusing to wear masks, and refusing to leave the building after it was closed."

Phelps, in the video, said in the last several weeks, protesters have visited board members and the superintendent's home, personally delivering stacks of manifestos.

"Board members are also receiving death threats to them and their family members," explained Dr. Phelps.

She said that the latest incident happened on Monday morning before the special meeting. One of the protesters who had been arrested on October 14 chalked the front of the district office and graffitied the sidewalk of one of the district's high schools. That individual then protested on the grounds.

Dr. Phelps said while they hope to go back to in-person as soon as possible, there was no clear date as to when they would return.

A spokesperson for the district shared that to her knowledge, no new arrests have been made since October 14.