An Arizona father whose son had to quarantine after coming into contact with a COVID-positive student confronted the school’s principal with zip ties and threatened to make citizen’s arrest over the school’s rules during a march captured on video.
The parent and a group of of other dads filmed their march to the Mesquite Elementary School’s principal office after school administrators, following Health Department protocols, said one of their kids had to quarantine for a week after being exposed to a student who tested positive for COVID-19, Superintendent John Carruth confirmed to KOLD.com
The father, who called himself Reese in the video, claimed it was illegal for the school to force his son into quarantine then him and two other men confronted the school’s principal, a live-stream of the march showed.
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An Arizona father (pictured) whose son had to quarantine confronted the school’s principal with zip ties and threatened to make citizen’s arrest over school’s rules
A group of fathers recorded themselves ‘confronting’ principal Diane Vargo (pictured) after one of their sons was ordered to quarantine
A group of dads captured their march to the Mesquite Elementary School’s principal office (school pictured)
The entire incident was captured on a livestream recorded by a man who identified himself as Kelly Walker, owner of Viva Coffee in Tucson.
Walker can be heard saying the men were planning on ‘confronting’ principal Diane Vargo for breaking multiple state laws that caused a ‘major disturbance to a family,’ and that they would call the sheriff on school officials if she didn’t comply or even make a citizens arrest because school administrators had no right to ‘take the law into their hands.’
The man behind the video has self-identified as Kelly Walker (pictured) owner of Viva Coffee in Tucson
Superintendent John Carruth (pictured) says he knows tensions are high but that the parents took things too far
In the livestream Walker says he is against quarantining ‘heathy’ children because it creates fear and ‘denies them an education’ and ‘imposes on the lives of parents who have to work.’
At one point Kelly grabs several ‘law enforcement zip ties’ in his fist and shows them off to the camera.
‘Were just coming in to talk first but our public officials need to know we mean business,’ he says.
Once inside Vargo’s office, the Post reports the men confronted her and told her ‘If you insist on this, I’ll have you arrested.’
‘We’re ready to make a citizen’s arrest if necessary,’ one of the men added.
‘There will be no arrests here occurring on the Mesquite campus,’ Vargo told the men, while insisting the school was following COVID protocols.
Carruth told the Post that after threatening to arrest her, Vargo told the three men to leave but the men refused so she left her office and called the police.
The men left the school grounds before Tucson Police Department officers arrived.
No one was hurt in the incident and the district is deciding whether or not to press charges against against the men.
Superintendent Carruth says he knows tensions are high but that the parents took things too far.
‘We work really hard to try to resolve concerns that parents have and this has absolutely been a difficult and challenging 18 months and I understand when people become frustrated and understand when sometimes we can’t come to a solution that’s agreeable with everybody. But there is ways to resolve this that don’t involve this and that just has no place on a school campus at all,’ Carruth told KOLD.com
The incident comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations among children are continuing to rise as the early stages of the new school year are struck by the Delta variant.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that 200,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the week of August 26, the second highest weekly total recorded during the pandemic.
Children also accounted for over 19,000 of the 812,000 hospitalizations recorded that week. While week-over-week totals did increase, it was at a much lower rate than the 50 percent increase from the previous week.