A Pennsylvania elementary teacher is facing charges after reportedly threatening to shoot school district officials because janitors were told to remove a plastic barrier he’d set up in his classroom in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
What are the details?
According to a report from the New York Post, authorities arrested Chad Gerrick, a 50-year-old teacher at Sinking Springs Elementary School in York, Pennsylvania, and charged him with one misdemeanor count of terroristic threats on Friday.
WPMT-TV reports that a cafeteria worker at the school overheard Gerrick threaten to “shoot all them f*****s” at the school’s district office and vowed that if he tested positive for COVID-19, he would “come to the school and spread COVID to everyone I can.”
“I don’t care how sick I am,” he reportedly said.
The cafeteria worker then reported Gerrick’s purported comments to a school administrator by submitting a written account of the information. The administrator then passed the information along to local authorities, who immediately began investigating the incident.
The teacher, according to police, was apparently irate after administrators told him that a janitor removed the plastic barrier from his classroom. Authorities seized two long guns and a handgun from his Manchester Township home during the investigation.
The district suspended Gerrick pending an investigation.
When questioned by police, Gerrick declined to make as statement without an attorney present.
The York Daily Record reported that Gerrick has been a science and math teacher in the Central York School District for more than 18 years.
The district in a statement on the incident said, “Central York School District is aware that Mr. Chad Gerrick was arrested on Friday, October 8. The District is currently working closely with Northern Regional Police Department during this ongoing investigation. Mr. Gerrick is on leave at this time. The District cannot share any additional information on this personnel matter. Please be assured at no point was there a risk to the safety of our students and staff at Sinking Springs Elementary. The safety of our students and staff at CYSD is of the utmost importance and we strive to create a learning environment that protects the health and safety of all of our students.”
The Post reports that the Central York School District is operating on a remote-only basis through at least Friday due to an influx of COVID-19 cases.
In a statement, the district said, “Over the holiday weekend, the District continued to receive notification of several new positive cases of COVID-19. In the past 14 days, a total of 19 cases of COVID-19 have been reported at Sinking Springs Elementary.”