‘Irate parent’ upset over mask policy sends Sarasota elementary school into limited lockdown, police say

Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Sarasota County elementary school was briefly placed on a limited lockdown Tuesday after police say an “irate parent” who was upset with the school’s mask policy allegedly threatened the assistant principal in a phone call.

The incident happened just after 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Ashton Elementary School in Sarasota. According to a police report released by the Sarasota County Schools Police Department, the school’s assistant principal “frantically” ran to the school resources officer and requested the department’s police chief respond to the school for an irate parent.

Police say the parent called and told the assistant principal “he was leaving work and driving down to the school for him” and was going to “lift the roof off.” WFLA is not naming the parent because he is not being charged.

While police responded to the scene, the assistant principal placed the school on a limited lockdown. The sheriff’s office then arrived to the school just before the parent.

In the police report, an officer wrote the parent “was visibly upset and voiced his frustration with the school and the assistant principal.” According to police, the man accused the assistant principal of threatening his wife and said the school was violating the law by not allowing his children to attend.

Officers say they worked to de-escalate the situation and explained to the parent that the principal and assistant principal of the school did not make the mask mandates and that it was not a criminal matter. The police report says the parent was given multiple options for schooling his children or possibly requesting a medical exemption opt-out.

When asked by officers, the parent said he had no intentions of harming the assistant principal and said he just wanted to be heard after the assistant principal hung up on them, according to the police report.

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