Citing threat, Wayne school board president lodges police report against local father
Protestors gather in Wayne to oppose face mask mandate for students Protestors gather on Valley Road in Wayne to oppose the state’s mandate that children wear face masks in school on Thursday, August 19, 2021. Michael Karas, NorthJersey.com
WAYNE — The school board president has filed a police report and may press charges against a local father who she said threatened her at a public meeting on Thursday. Catherine Kazan, first elected to the Board of Education eight years ago, said on Friday that she is seeking legal counsel after Mark Faber, a resident of Overlook Avenue, allegedly told her that he would go to her “[expletive] house.” “I’m seeing if I can pursue charges,” Kazan said. “That’s what I think needs to happen.”
Kazan said the exchange occurred when another speaker refused to step away from the lectern after her time limit expired. The meeting was getting out of control, she said, so trustee Michael Bubba motioned for an early adjournment. “He basically charged the dais,” Kazan said of Faber.
PUBLIC BIDDING: Widow of man killed by truck tire questions Wayne paving contract The meeting was in the auditorium at Wayne Hills High School. Recent meetings have attracted dozens of parents, so the venue was moved in advance to accommodate an anticipated crowd.
Faber, a father of four, did not return a call placed to his cellphone. Some parents objected this week to certain school library books, which they thought were improper, Kazan said. “If you want help from the board and administration,” Kazan said, “there are far better ways to go about getting it.
We’re there to serve, and we’re not avoiding our service.” Incidents similar to Thursday’s are drawing national attention. The Office of the U.S.
Attorney General released a memo on Monday citing a “disturbing spike” in harassment and intimidation against school personnel across the country. The FBI was directed to hold meetings with law enforcement agents on all levels to address the threats, which have included everything from yelling of a Nazi salute in Michigan to hate mail in Ohio. Last week, the National School Boards Association asked for “immediate assistance” from federal authorities to protect educators from the acts of violence.
LAND USE: Wayne zoners OK Turkish school, but not dorms, for tract in office district In at least five states, leadership for the association wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden, school boards have been “confronted by angry mobs” and then forced to end meetings abruptly. Most violence has been fueled by debates over how to teach complex subjects, like race and gender equality, and how to ensure health of staff and students amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Virginia-based organization.
“Clearly, we’ve been experiencing it,” Kazan said of the threats, “and it’s escalating.” TRENDING: Kamala Harris visits North Jersey, pushes for more funding for child care Philip DeVencentis is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com.
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