GCS Looks At Safety Protocols After Receiving Vitriolic Messages

GCS Looks At Safety Protocols After Receiving Vitriolic Messages

4:37pm Jun 29, 2021
Guilford County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras prepares to give her report during a board of education meeting on June 17, 2021. Screenshoot: KERI BROWN/WFDD

Guilford County Schools is discussing changes to safety protocols for board meetings. This comes after protests over access and a string of vitriolic emails.

The GCS Board of Education meetings have been closed for in-person public comment since early in the pandemic. Instead, comments can be submitted via email. Some community members including a group called Take Back Our Schools want the meetings to reopen. Several rallies have been held to voice concerns about this issue.

District officials say protestors banged on boardroom windows during a June 10 meeting and would not leave the grounds until the Greensboro Police Department was called.

The district has also received numerous emails and calls from people about other things including school safety, and where the district stands on critical race theory. Some messages contain profanity and other offensive language that targets Superintendent Sharon Contreras and other staff.

Winston McGregor, the vice chair of the board, says there’s a lot of misleading information circulating online.

"What was concerning about the escalation of a couple of weeks ago was an increase in emails, in the tone of the emails," says McGregor. 

District officials say additional law enforcement will be in place at school board meetings moving forward. Some of the emails have also been turned over to local law enforcement to investigate.

The Guilford County Board of Education will reopen for in-person public meetings on July 13. Nora Carr, the district's chief of staff, says a new process for the public comment sessions will be announced before then.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on twitter @kerib_news

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