An elementary school teacher has been arrested after he made threats to shoot and kill Pennsylvania school district officials because janitors at his school removed a plastic barrier set up in his classroom.
The plastic barrier was erected by the teacher as part of a series of measures taken to protect students and teachers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, recent research shows that the plastic barriers are not only inefficient at protecting students, but may also promote the spread of the virus, according to the New York Times.
Chad Gerrick, a teacher at Sinking Springs Elementary School in York, Pennsylvania, has been charged with one count of making terroristic threats, a misdemeanor in the state.
Fox 43 reports that Gerrick was overheard threatening to “shoot all them f*ckers” at the district’s administrative offices, according to a cafeteria worker. The news station cited a criminal complaint affidavit filed by the Northern York County Regional Police.
Gerrick said that if he contracted the coronavirus, he planned to go to school and “spread COVID to everyone I can,” according to the police affidavit.
“I don't care how sick I am, I will come into school and spread COVID to everyone that I can,” he reportedly said.
Police informed the news station that Gerrick was riled up over a conversation he had with school administrators over the removal of a plastic barrier he erected in his classroom.
The school suspended Gerrick pending an investigation. Police searched his home in Manchester Township, confiscating two rifles and a handgun.
The Central York School District released the following statement to address the incident:
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.
Fox News reports that the Central York School District says the school will operate remote only through Friday due to an uptick in coronavirus cases in the area.
“Over the holiday weekend, the District continued to receive notification of several new positive cases of COVID-19,” read a message on the school district’s website. “In the past 14 days, a total of 19 cases of COVID-19 have been reported at Sinking Springs Elementary.”
Police arrested Gerrick on Friday but released him after he posted a $25,000 bail. Gerrick’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 22.