An Illinois school board member said she resigned after finding 4 dead rodents in front of her home: 'I was afraid on a day-to-day basis'

Asia's Tech News Daily

An Illinois school board member said she resigned after finding 4 dead rodents in front of her home: 'I was afraid on a day-to-day basis'
© Carolyn Waibel. A photo of Carolyn Waibel’s AC unit after she said harassers tampered with it next to a picture of one of the dead rodents left in her driveway. Carolyn Waibel.

  • An Illinois school board member resigned this month following months of “unrelenting harassment.”
  • Carolyn Waibel told Insider someone trespassed on her property and vandalized her home.
  • She believes her aversion to extremism made her a target among angry community members.

When the vitriolic emails began arriving in her inbox this summer, Carolyn Waibel hardly flinched.

Unpleasant feedback has become “par for the course” for locally-elected school board officials in recent months, and members of the St. Charles School Board in Fox Valley, Illinois, found they were not exempt from receiving such displays of anger.

Parent concerns, first about remote learning, then critical race theory, and finally regarding masking in classrooms, dominated community school board meetings and message boards for months amid the pandemic, Waibel told Insider

Even when the emails became more ominous – Waibel said the board received one message telling members: “Your days are numbered” – she reported the threats to local authorities and continued to do her job.

The Illinois mother said she endured social media attacks, comparisons to Hitler, the publishing of her personal information, and even vandalism at her home in the form of a tampered-with AC unit and multiple dead rodents left on her property, all while continuing to serve the community, she said.

Waibel initially thought the two dead chipmunks, dead rat, and dead mouse, which all appeared in her driveway in the span of one week, might have been victims of a particularly vicious cat. But when she readjusted her home security camera in hopes of catching the culprit, the rodents stopped appearing.

The last straw didn’t come until this fall, when Waibel said she heard someone come onto her property while she was home and discovered her garage refrigerator and freezer had been unplugged.

As she had previously done with the online harassment and AC vandalism, Waibel reported the trespassing to local police. But according to Waibel, she was told the incidents would be difficult to prosecute because her status as an elected official left her open to such action.

The St. Charles Police Department did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

“It’s terrorizing events meant to build fear so you are afraid to leave your home,” Waibel told Insider. “You’re afraid to do your volunteer job to help the kids and community.”

Following the incident, Waibel went to her fellow board members asking for protective measures to be instituted, such as a no trespassing order for particularly aggressive community members. The board declined, Waibel said.

During her final school board meeting earlier this month, Waibel criticized the district for failing to protect school board members, the Daily Herald reported.

“This board and this district has not protected its own,” she said during the meeting. “I call for immediate action. There are other boards in this state that have the courage to take care of their own people. This board is not one of them. I’m ashamed to be on it.”

Later that night, she resigned.

“I had to put the safety of myself and family first,” she told Insider.

The St. Charles School Board did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Waibel is the latest casualty in the newest culture war; one that is being fought at explosive school board meetings across the country, where passionate parents debate the merits of proven COVID-19 mitigation methods, such as masks and vaccines, as well as other hot-button topics like critical race theory and mental health resources.

“Somewhere along the line we’ve lost the civility and professionalism to communicate our unhappiness as parent advocates,” the former two-term school board member said.

Waibel, who was first elected in 2017, said her first term was a success. As an ideological moderate, she worked across the aisle with members of both political affiliations to promote a collaborative environment and address the issues facing the districts’ nearly 13,000 students.

Even when COVID-19 struck in early 2020, Waibel said the board was diligent in keeping parents up to date and handling pandemic-related challenges.

But students’ return to the classroom this year, which coincided with the start of Waibel’s second term, sparked growing discontent in the community. As the new school year approached, Waibel said a small group of outspoken parents became less manageable, especially as masking in schools became a contentious topic.

In August, Illinois implemented a statewide mask requirement for all public and non-public K-12 schools, making school board decisions on the matter fairly easy: Comply with the mask mandate or risk losing funding.

Waibel said the St. Charles School Board agreed to uphold the governor’s executive order.

But the statewide requirement didn’t stop a small minority of vocal parents from directing their anger toward school board members, Waibel said. She believes her harassers are primarily community members who are being supported by a larger, statewide parents’ rights organization focused on “protecting liberties.”

Though she wasn’t the only member who dealt with harassment in recent months, she said the brunt of the aggression landed at her feet.

“I’m center,” Waibel said. “I think it bothers people that I’m not extreme. These people are very interested in polarizing our community.”

Eventually, after what she described as months of online attacks and in-person intimidation, she reached her breaking point.

“That’s their goal,” she said. “Their goal is to get people to resign.”

Knowing her departure would be celebrated by the same people who drove her out made the decision incredibly difficult, Waibel said. She is still afraid one of her harassers may end up taking her spot on the board.

But Waibel believes her experience is representative of a larger dilemma that school boards across the country are facing as instances of violence and harassment become more commonplace in an increasingly polarized world.

“I think boards, in general, feel that they can’t take action because it will infringe on people’s First Amendment rights,” she said.

“But if not, people who want to do altruistic work aren’t going to run for these positions anymore,” she added.

Waibel said she is pursuing further action with local authorities to protect her safety and has already talked to local politicians about possible legislation to protect officials at the local level moving forward.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

I bought first home at 24 after earning £70k a year renting out my dresses- I'd wear them then make DOUBLE my money back

LIKE any diehard fashion fan, Brittany McQuade knows exactly what it's like to buy a new dress for a special occasion and then banish it to the back of her ... Read more »

Bigg Boss 15: Rakhi Sawant and husband Ritesh get into a MASSIVE fight after Devoleena Bhattacharjee confides in him about her past – watch

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com A post shared by ColorsTV (@colorstv) In the latest promo of Bigg Boss 15, we see Devoleena Bhattacharjee getting all emotional whilst talking about her past ... Read more »

Mamata Banerjee ko gussa kyon aata hai?

A lot has been said and written about the goings-on between the Congress and Trinamool Congress. Much like the Gandhis and the Bachchans who went from being friends to being ... Read more »

45-year-old woman sexually harassed by painter in Bhopal

45-year-old woman sexually harassed by painter in Bhopal A 45-year-old woman was allegedly sexually harassed by a worker on Saturday night, who was called for whitewashing her house in Gautam ... Read more »

Nagaland violence: Situation tense but under control, says Home Minister Amit Shah

© Provided by DNA Speaking in the Lok Sabha on Monday on the Nagaland violence, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the situation is tense but under control. He ... Read more »

Paul Walker's Brother Cody Reunites With Vin Diesel At The Annual FuelFest Festival

© Provided by Lehren Paul Walker’s Brother Cody Reunites With Vin Diesel At Annual FuelFest Just days after marking eight years since Paul Walker’s tragic death, brother Cody Walker hosted ... Read more »

Mehbooba Mufti protests at Jantar Mantar, says Kashmir has become 'a prison'

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar here on Monday (December 6) to protest the alleged ... Read more »

Fond Memories: Puneeth Rajkumar's nature documentary teaser wows viewers

© IANS Late Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar’s much awaited documentary film teaser loved by audience. Bengaluru, Dec 6 (IANS) The teaser of late Kannada star Puneeth Rajkumar’s dream project – ... Read more »

Maldives receives compensation for reef damaged by cargo ship

© IANS Maldives receives compensation for reef damaged by cargo ship Male, Dec 6 (IANS) The Maldives has received $10 million as compensation from a company whose ship ran aground ... Read more »

Nagaland Civilian Killings Give Fresh Push to AFSPA Repeal Demand, CM Rio Latest to Join Chorus

© Provided by News18 Nagaland Civilian Killings Give Fresh Push to AFSPA Repeal Demand, CM Rio Latest to Join Chorus Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Monday joined his Meghalaya ... Read more »

Abhishek Bachchan shares an UNSEEN childhood picture of Navya Naveli Nanda on her birthday, writes 'So proud...'

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Abhishek Bachchan’s niece Navya Naveli Nanda, daughter of Shweta Bachchan-Nanda, celebrates her 24th birthday today. Uncle Abhishek took to Instagram to wish Navya on her birthday ... Read more »

Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan-starrer 'Vikram Vedha' slated for global release, check date!

© Provided by Zee News Mumbai: The first filming schedule of action-packed thriller ‘Vikram Vedha’, which is being co-produced by Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series and Reliance Entertainment in association with Friday ... Read more »

BBC Strictly Come Dancing: Dan Walker confronts 'angry' fans who didn't think he should have made it so far

Dan Walker and his dance partner Nadiya Bychkova were the latest pair to go on last week’s Strictly Come Dancing, and Dan addressed the “angry” people who didn’t think he ... Read more »

What does it mean to plead the Fifth?

The January 6 committee is facing a new challenge as multiple people it has subpoenaed signal their intentions to invoke Fifth Amendment protections ahead of their testimony. © Yuri Gripas/Pool/Getty ... Read more »

Rangers star set to decline Aston Villa transfer as Steven Gerrard snubbed

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard is reportedly set to be snubbed by Rangers full-back Borna Barisic. Barisic, report BirminghamLive’s colleagues at the Daily Star, has decided that his future lies ... Read more »

Google may finally unveil its first in-house smartwatch next year

© Provided by Lifestyle Asia A Google smartwatch made in-house by the company might enter the market in 2022, says a report by Insider. The smartwatch is codenamed ‘Rohan’ and, ... Read more »

Ringo Starr surprised to learn Drake streamed more than The Beatles

Sir Ringo Starr was surprised that The Beatles’ streaming figures are nowhere near Drake’s. © Bang Showbiz Ringo Starr was surprised to learn Drake streamed more than The Beatles The ... Read more »

Ministers fear mica firms will underpay State

© Provided by Extra.ie Government concern is growing that taxpayers will be short-changed in securing adequate redress from companies responsible for supplying defective materials to houses affected by crumbling mica ... Read more »

The BBC's Christmas TV highlights for 2021: Death In Paradise, Doctor Who and more

The BBC always delivers a feast of festive telly treats, and 2021 is no different. © BBC What to Watch on the BBC this Christmas, Death In Paradise, Doctor Who, ... Read more »

Ryanair cancels all flights to winter holiday destination until February – affecting hundreds of thousands of passengers

RYANAIR has cancelled all flights to and from Morocco until February 1, 2022. The Moroccan government has put a ban on overseas flights until next week as the world races ... Read more »

Solomon Islands: PM Sogavare survives no confidence vote

© Provided by dw.com Manasseh Sogavare says an illegal coup attempt is in the making Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Monday easily survived a no confidence motion brought ... Read more »

Vaccine developer warns of 'more lethal' pandemic

© AIZAR RALDES The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is credited with increasing vaccine access in poorer countries The lead developer of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine warned the next pandemic could be “more ... Read more »

Salah flirts with Barcelona as he tells Liverpool to ‘solve this issue'

© PA Images Mo Salah walks back to the halfway line after celebrating a goal Mo Salah claims that it makes him “happy” to hear Barcelona’s interest in signing him ... Read more »

14-year-old Mexican jailed for fleeing arranged marriage

© AFP via Getty Images File image: A woman carries a child in Guerrero state, Mexico, on May 16, 2021, where girls are given in marriage under an ancestral agreement ... Read more »

Man Utd defender Diogo Dalot sends clear transfer message to Jose Mourinho amid Roma links

Diogo Dalot has confirmed his desire to stay at Manchester United amid transfer interest. The 22-year-old put in a stellar performance on Sunday, helping the Red Devils beat Crystal Palace ... Read more »

Man United players surpass Ralf Rangnick's expectations

© Alamy Stock Photo Ralf Rangnickduring the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace. RALF RANGNICK says the manner of Manchester United’s performance surpassed his expectations as the ... Read more »

Amigo Loans shares dive again as sub-prime lender almost trebles business rescue package to £97m

© Provided by This Is Money MailOnline logo Amigo Loans shares dived this morning after the embattled sub-prime lender announced it was substantially boosting its contribution under a new business ... Read more »

Tom Holland to play Fred Astaire in biopic

© Bang Showbiz Tom Holland will play Fred Astaire in a new biopic Tom Holland will play Fred Astaire in an upcoming biopic. The 25-year-old actor confirmed that he will ... Read more »

Ryan Yates reveals what Steve Cooper ‘says all the time' at Nottingham Forest

© Provided by Football League World Ryan Yates n Nottingham Forest midfielder Ryan Yates has outlined how important possessing a positive mindset is in his side’s pursuit of progressing up ... Read more »

Dominic Raab's ridiculed for bizarrely claiming that ‘police don't investigate the past'

© BBC dominicraab_0512211.png Dominic Raab has been mocked after making the strange claim that the police do not investigate crimes that have taken place in the past. During an interview ... Read more »

Where is Holly Willoughby's sequin skirt from? This Morning star's outfit details

As quick as the weekend comes around, so does a new one and Holly Willoughby made sure to kick it off with another glittering ensemble for Monday’s This Morning. After ... Read more »

Jennifer Lawrence Reveals Her Baby Bump at 'Don't Look Up' Premiere

Jennifer Lawrence showed her growing baby bump over the weekend at the premiere of her upcoming movie, Don’t Look Up. Walking the red carpet in New York alongside her costars ... Read more »

Camilla Thurlow and Jamie Jewitt expecting second child

Love Island stars Camilla Thurlow and Jamie Jewitt are expecting their second child. © Provided by Cover Media Camilla Thurlow The pair, who met on the 2017 series of the ... Read more »

Comelec warns vs. fake operatives offering sure election win for a fee

Comelec logo Comelec thumbnail The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday warned against unscrupulous individuals claiming to be poll body operatives who collect a fee in exchange of supposed guaranteed ... Read more »

WATCH: Bride will forever remember her wedding as the day she threw up and got pooped on

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) For Hollee Lynnea-Kolenda Darnell, it was supposed to be her special day. Dressed in a beautiful white wedding dress and with friends and family ... Read more »

COVID-19: Unvaccinated face new restrictions in Italy

© Provided by dw.com Italy’s vaccination rate is higher than many of its neighbors, at 85% of the eligible population aged 12 and older New restrictions for unvaccinated people came ... Read more »

Iconic Home Alone house listed on Airbnb for one night only, it's yours for $25!

© Provided by CapeTalk – Movie fans are being offered the chance to spend the night in one of the most iconic homes to feature on the big screen – ... Read more »

Ministers blasts Richard E. Grant's complaints over fish and chips!

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Actor Richard E. Grant’s complaints about the poor quality of food in his quarantine hotel have been dismissed by a Government minister. The ... Read more »

PM says drugs ‘bad for society' as he pledges crackdown on dealers and users

Class A drugs are “bad for society”, the Prime Minister has said, as he vowed to “come down hard” on the gangsters peddling unlawful narcotics as part of the Government’s ... Read more »

Preisaufschlag wegen Corona: So viel mehr kostet der Café Crème nächstes Jahr

Der Interessenverband Cafetiersuisse warnt im kommenden Jahr vor steigenden Kaffeepreisen. Je nach Region fällt der Preisaufschlag unterschiedlich hoch aus. Schuld am steigenden Preis sei die Pandemie. © Bereitgestellt von Blick ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic