‘It was just emotions built up’: Dad upset about masks apologizes for causing lockdown at Sarasota school

Coronavirus

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A father has apologized after he allegedly threatened an assistant principal in Sarasota, prompting a school to go into a limited lockdown on Tuesday.

According to a police report, Ashton Elementary School was placed on lockdown after the dad, Christopher Kivlin, threatened to leave his job and drive down to the school to confront the official.

Kivlin showed up at the school and said the district was violating the law by not allowing his children at the school. The school can send children home if they don’t comply with the district’s mask mandate.

“I’m irate. I have to punch out of work because my wife is breaking down, thinking the law is going to come down on here because the school is refusing to let my kids into school, I need answers,” Kivlin told 8 On Your Side.

He also said he was sorry for forcing the school to go into lockdown.

“There was no intention of physical harm, I’m irate,” he said. “I apologize for if I freaked anybody out, it was nothing like that. All the kids were safe, it was just emotions built up.”

“I’m irate. I have to punch out of work because my wife is breaking down, thinking the law is going to come down on here because the school is refusing to let my kids into school, I need answers,” he explained.

“I found out after the fact that the school had to go into lockdown, I was like, that’s horrible. I feel like I might have scared other parents,” Kivlin added.

A 90-day mask mandate is now in place in all Sarasota County public schools. The school board passed the requirement, which has no parental opt-out, last month. The face covering requirement went into effect Monday.

The Florida Department of Education has threatened to withhold funding for the school district for violating Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order banning mask mandates. The district is expected to send a letter in response to the threat.

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