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KPBS Midday Edition

FBI to investigate threats, harassment against school board members

The Poway Unified School District building is shown on Feb. 3, 2021.
Zoë Meyers
The Poway Unified School District building is shown on Feb. 3, 2021.

As some community members continue to push back on COVID-19 related health guidelines in California schools, discourse over masking, vaccine mandates and curriculum is becoming increasingly heated.

Recent weeks have seen a school board meeting shut down by protestors in Poway, while another meeting in Vista adjourned because people refused to wear masks.

A separate incident involved the vandalization of a Coronado school board member's car and her address published on social media.

Now, the FBI has been tasked to look into incidents like these across the country.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that federal investigators would work with local officials on what he calls "a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence" against school administrators.

Darshana Patel is a delegate who represents the California School Board Association and a trustee for Poway Unified School District.

"Across the state, we've had board meetings disrupted with aggressive, harassing, verbally abusive protesters," Patel said.

She joined Midday Edition on Wednesday to discuss her own experience with the ongoing disruptions.