Central Bucks County School Board Vice President John Gamble has resigned due to death threats he claims to have received in the course of a tough debate over whether his public school district should require masks in elementary schools.
Gamble expressed his anger after a special meeting last Wednesday when the board ultimately rejected an updated plan that could have required masks in schools immediately.
As reported by thedailybeast.com, Gamble voted last week against a plan that would have mandated masks in schools right away. He claimed that he preferred to wait for “a perfect plan.”
“I don’t want to vote on anything anymore other than the perfect plan, instead of just something to throw out there until the next meeting. We’re rolling the dice in two days, I get it. But at this point, I don’t want to vote for a plan unless it’s the perfect plan,” said the board Vice-president.
On Tuesday, Gamble voted in favor of masks following the state’s own masking order, which was finalized shortly before the Central Bucks board was scheduled to meet.
According to The Courier Times, Gamble said he felt he was put into the role of the swing vote among the divided board, and his vote not to require masks last week caused online bullying and even death threats on him and his family.
You can read: Mask mandate for Pennsylvania K-12 schools
“No matter how I vote, I will be viewed as public enemy No. 1 again,” a frustrated Gamble said after discussion seemed to be putting him into another swing vote position Tuesday.
Between online harassment, if he voted for universal masking and potential death threats if he voted mask optional, Gamble told the crowd the divisive issue had “broken” the community.
“COVID has broken you people, and it’s disgusting. Common decency; you all need to find it real fast,” Gamble said.
As part of his final acts as a board member, Gamble said he wanted to end the night with a plan that saw universal masking in place for elementary schools at least until a vaccine for children under 12 was available.
The board’s motion also adopted a metric that would be used once the state order, which has no expiration date, ended.
Bucks County is currently considered in the high-risk category by the CDC with over 100 new cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days, so mandatory masks were likely coming to Central Bucks schools one way or another.