WORTHINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) — A local school board member is sharing perspective and a message about working through the pandemic as a community after she said she’s received threatening letters and emails, the latest she shared on social media.
Nikki Hudson has been a member of the Worthington City School Board for four years.
A letter she shared on Facebook, she said, is an example of the type of communication she has received as a board member throughout the pandemic.
The letter reads, in part, “You have become our enemies and you will be removed one way or another.”
“Because I believe that we need to collectively take a clear, vocal stand against bullying and intimidation and the kind of hate that was displayed in that letter,” Hudson said.
School board meetings over the last few weeks have been heated, including in Worthington. Protesters have gathered outside district buildings and have disrupted board meetings. Some parents and board members have accused an audience member of making an anti-Semitic gesture during a Worthington board meeting last week.
Hudson said she’s always open to letters and emails from the community about the district, but added ones with ill will ramped up since the pandemic began.
“(First, it was) how school was being conducted, whether it was in person or it was remote,” she said. “Now, it’s masks.”
The district currently requires masks to be worn by all students, teachers, and staff while inside school properties regardless of vaccination status.
Hudson said she expected to receive complaints from parents, especially during the pandemic, but not to this extent, saying bullying or threats of any kind are not acceptable.
“The ability to discuss our differing views with respect and civility,” she said. “I think the letter highlights just how important it is that we remember there is an actual human on the receiving end of our actions and our words and we can do better. We really can.”
Hudson said law enforcement has been made aware of this particular letter.
Her message to those who both agree and disagree with her is to be more respectful and to do better moving forward.
“It’s up to us to set that good example as to how we engage in the constructive dialogue because our children are watching,” Hudson said.
Hudson’s term as a board member is up this year, and she is seeking reelection this November.