Cabarrus County school board member says she’s being harassed over decision to reopen schools

North Carolina news

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A Cabarrus County School board member says she’s getting hate mail.

“What I will not and do not tolerate is some of the nasty, mean, hateful emails that I have received, I’ve received mail that was addressed to ‘ignorant Blackwell’,” said Cabarrus County Board of Education member Laura Blackwell at a school board meeting Thursday night.

Blackwell sent WJZY pictures of a big stack of folded boxes addressed to “ignorant Blackwell.”

She says someone mailed them to another board member’s house two weeks ago addressed to her.

Blackwell says she contacted the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office about the mail, which she says isn’t the only harassment she’s received.

“I have seen social media posts that have completely put information that was not true regarding me and my family, and there has to come to a point where if that is being done, then those that are doing that need to be held accountable,” Blackwell said.

The Cabarrus County School Board met Thursday night, deciding to keep its original plan for students to switch from all remote learning now to a mix of in-person and virtual learning starting next Tuesday.

“We know that with the surveys that went out and the numbers that came back that social distancing in Plan B is definitely doable,” said board chairperson Holly Grimsley at the meeting.

Despite Cabarrus County currently having a 16.4 percent positivity rate of COVID cases, Blackwell says there has been zero transmission of COVID-19 among Cabarrus County students in schools.

Most Cabarrus County parents were in favor of returning to in-person instruction, but most teachers were not, according to a recent survey.

A teacher emailed WJZY saying in part quote, “We love our students but we are unfortunately at a horrible place now because of the lack of respect from the BOE and the current rise in COVID-19 cases.”

That teacher does not feel the board is listening to concerns about safety.

The board chair Thursday night indicated concerns over having enough teachers.

“The reason for this meeting was because of the possibility of having an even greater shortage of teacher coverage on Tuesday,” said Grimsley.

Blackwell says she has not received any physical threats. WJZY checked with law enforcement, and they’re not investigating any threats.

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