With Dr. Tarece’s new power, it is important that we get an idea of where she wants to take the Gwinnett County School system. So here, in her own words, are some of the concerns she expressed in an email from October.
On Oct 26, 2021, at 7:04 AM, Dr. Tarece wrote:
Dr. Watts and Chairman Blair,
Below are pending suggestions to consider (refer to forwarded email below).
Also, as a result to another disrupted board meeting, please ensure the following:
1) Verification of people attending our meetings (sign-in with ID). This will help to know who is in the room in case of emergency.
2) Wands (to deter and prevent weapon violence).
3) Remove and ban people from the meetings who have continuously defied board meeting policies (disruptions and not wearing a mask).
4) We must follow through on consequences and do what is necessary to maintain a safe and orderly environment.
5) Analyze/process what happened at the October 18 board meeting and why our meetings are not managed well to prevent and address the chaos (disruptions). We must also consider immediate actions to ensure this does not happen again.
6) Work with Sheriffs (Keybo Taylor), the Solicitor General (Brian Whiteside), the District Attorney (Patsy Gatson) and the local Police Department to devise a new and relevant safety and security plan (based on these unprecedented times).
7) Work with attorneys and the Department of Justice to pursue new laws (create case law) for more safety, security, protections from harassment, intimidation, targeting, etc. for school staff and board members.
Thank you! Dr. Tarece
Begin forwarded message:
MEMORANDUM of CONCERN
TO: Everton Blair, Chairman
FROM: Dr. Tarece Johnson, Member
RE: Security during BOE Meetings
DATE: May 23, 2021
A couple of weeks before our board meeting on May 20, 2021, a community member warned me that an anti-mask protest would be staged to disrupt our business session. I shared this information with our board chair with the expectation that we would work with superintendent Wilbanks to ensure the meeting was secure and safe. Unfortunately, possibly due to a lack of preparation and planning, an unruly mob was allowed to disrupt our scheduled 7pm business meeting.
During the onset of this insurrection, I suggested to the other board members that we move our meeting to the training room. Thirty minutes later, the board chair finally made the wise decision to move the meeting to the training room. I was pleased that we were able to peacefully recognize student and teacher achievements. I am so proud of all of these wonderful accomplishments.
When it was time for public comments, Superintendent Wilbanks, Dr. Pam Williams, Steve Knudsen, and Jorge Gómez convinced Chairman Blair to move our public comments portion of the meeting back into a room filled with volatile insurrectionists without masks. These people (1) violated our mask policy, (2) did not comply with board decorum, (3) screamed profanities and (4) made personal attacks about me and my children. And they did all of this in front of students! I was also informed that some people even carried weapons! These people should have been removed from the meeting just as we did with others in the past.
Due to the presence of several individuals who have harassed me, as well as the lack of security and the unsafe environment – I felt it necessary for me to leave the public comments section of the meeting when the decision was made to move from a safe space to an unsafe space. I sought counsel from our board attorney, Mr. Steve Pereira, and was advised that it was okay for me to leave if I did not feel safe. I felt totally unsafe and, subsequently, informed the board chairman and vice chairwoman and exited the building.
As a result of ongoing disruptions caused by mobs hurling inflammatory vitriol that could potentially lead to physical violence against me and other members of the board, for the third time – I am requesting that measures are taken to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all board members, staff and people who desire to attend a peaceful, productive school board meeting. These measures should include (but not be limited to):
- the use of x-rays, metal detectors and/or hand-held wands to detect the presence of any unauthorized items
- an increased presence of uniformed police officers with strict orders to enforce all board policies and procedures
- executive security for at-risk board members
- board review/training of our active shooter and evacuation plans at the ISC building
Please provide a response by this Friday, May 28th with details to the concerns I have outlined in this memorandum.
Dr. Tarece Johnson