At some school board meetings in New Jersey and across the country, debates have been heated over how districts are responding to COVID-19. In some cases, the conversations have taken an ugly turn. Earlier this week, the U.S. Justice Department said incidents of harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school board members have increased.
Those threats of violence, while not the norm, reflect a shift in the tone of school board meetings over the last year and half. Board president Cathy Kazan filed charges with the Wayne Police Department after threats were allegedly made to her house. In Wall Township, board meetings have been shut down over the refusal by community members to wear masks while chastising the board for not repealing the mask mandate in schools.