A conflict over the COVID-19 quarantine policy at a Vail Unified School District elementary school has been resolved shortly after protesters threatened to make a citizen’s arrest on the principal Thursday morning.
According to VUSD officials, a student at Mesquite Elementary School was asked to quarantine after he reportedly was in close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.
VUSD said this decision was made per state policy, citing that when a school in Arizona experiences a positive case of COVID-19, it is required to report the case to its county health department – in Vail’s case, Pima County Health Department. Then, the county decides which individuals need to quarantine in order to prevent a potential outbreak in the community.
However, after hearing the quarantine request, three individuals and the child involved drove over to the school in order to protest the decision. The three individuals were later identified as one of the child’s parents, another community member and a local business owner, who live-streamed the confrontation over his business’ Instagram account.
Over the Instagram live, the business owner reportedly shared his discontent over the situation and threatened to use zip ties to arrest the principal of Mesquite Elementary School. The zip ties could also be seen in the video.
According to school officials, when the group went into the principal’s office, the school’s principal, Diane Vargo listened to their concerns. After a conversation, Vargo asked them to leave the school grounds.
After the group refused her request, the principal left her office without incident.
The group left the scene before Tucson Police Department officers arrived at the school.
VUSD said Vargo was not harmed in connection to the incident. The district has not yet decided if they will press charges against the protesters.
The district is currently drafting a letter that will inform the parents of Mesquite Elementary students about the confrontation.