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Men With Zip Ties Confront Principal Who Quarantined Boy

Father and cohorts threaten 'citizen's arrest'
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2021 6:30 AM CDT
Men Try To 'Arrest' Principal Over Student Quarantine
A man reportedly confronted a principal while carrying zip ties and threatening 'citizen's arrest' (stock photo)   (Claudio Caridi / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

(Newser) – An Arizona elementary school principal says she was confronted by a father and two other men after enforcing county rules on quarantining students who've potentially been exposed to COVID. Per NBC News, Diane Vargo, principal at Mesquite Elementary School in Tucson, says the father showed up with his son at his side Thursday and angrily confronted school staff. The principal told USA Today the man demanded his son stay in school despite Pima County rules requiring him to stay isolated for a week. Vargo said the man recorded her with his phone and warned her other men were on their way.

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Soon after, two men reportedly arrived, one carrying zip ties. Vargo said the men threatened to perform a citizen's arrest on Vargo and her assistant, presumably with the zip ties. Vargo said she asked the men to leave and attempted to de-escalate the situation but was unsuccessful and the police were eventually called to the school. She said she left the men and boy in her office in a bid to isolate them from the rest of the school over COVID fears. “I felt violated that they were in my office claiming I was breaking the law and they were going to arrest me,” Vargo said in a video statement released by the Vail Unified School District. “Two of the men weren't parents at our school, so I felt threatened.”

In a video posted on social media, Vargo can be heard calmly asking them to leave, per the AP. One of them replies they aren't leaving because they're not going to let her control the situation. Police confirmed only that they were called to the school "over a fight brewing.” Vargo told the AP the father of the boy was arrested and the school district is standing by the principal's side. “The principal through training and her own personality did an excellent job of making sure that tensions didn’t escalate,” District Superintendent John Carruth said.
(Read more quarantine stories.)

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