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'

A photo of Carolyn Waibel's air conditioner after she said molesters 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 after months of "relentless harassment".
Carolyn Waibel told Insider that someone broke into her property and destroyed her home.
She believes that her aversion to extremism has made her the target of angry parishioners.
When the heavy emails reached her inbox this summer, Carolyn Waibel barely winced.
Annoying feedback has become "normal" for locally elected school board officers in recent months, and members of the St. Charles School Board in St. Charles, Illinois found that they were no exception to such outbursts of anger.
Parent concerns, first about distance learning, then about critical race theory and finally regarding classroom masking, dominated board meetings and message boards of community schools for months amid the pandemic, Waibel told Insider
Even as the emails became more threatening - Waibel said the board had received a message telling members, "Your days are numbered" - she reported the threats to local authorities and continued to work.
The Illinois mother said she endured social media attacks, comparisons with Hitler, disclosure of her personal information, and even vandalism in her home in the form of a rigged AC unit and several dead rodents left on her property, while continuing to serve the community, she said.
At first Waibel thought that the two dead chipmunks, the dead rat and the dead mouse, all of which appeared in their driveway within a week, could have been the victims of a particularly vicious cat. But when she readjusted her home security camera in hopes of catching the culprit, the rodents stopped showing up.
The last straw didn't come until that fall when Waibel said she heard someone walk into her property at home and discovered that her garage fridge and freezer were unplugged.
As before with the online harassment and AC vandalism, Waibel reported the trespassing to the local police. However, according to Waibel, she was told that the incidents were difficult to follow because her status as an elected officer leaves her open to such action.
The St. Charles Police Department did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
"There are terrorist events that are supposed to create fear so that you are afraid to leave your home," Waibel told Insider. "You are afraid of doing your volunteer job to help the children and the community."
After the incident, Waibel went to her fellow board members and asked for protective measures to be introduced, such as a ban on trespassing for particularly aggressive parishioners. The board refused, said Waibel.
During their last school board meeting earlier this month, Waibel criticized the district for failing to protect school board members, the Daily Herald reported.
"This board of directors and this district did not protect its own," she said during the meeting. "I urge immediate action. There are other bodies in this state that have the courage to look after their own people. This board is not one of them. I am ashamed to be there."
She resigned later that night.
"I had to put the safety of myself and my family first," she told Insider.
The St. Charles School Board did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Waibel is the youngest victim in the latest culture war; one to be combated at explosive school committee meetings across the country where passionate parents discuss the benefits of proven COVID-19 containment methods like masks and vaccines, as well as other hot topics like critical racial theory and mental health resources.
"At some point we lost the courtesy and professionalism to communicate our unhappiness as parent representatives," said the former member of the school board.
Waibel, who was first elected in 2017, said her first term was a success. As an ideological facilitator, she worked across the aisle with members of both political associations to foster 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 trying to keep parents informed and deal with pandemic-related challenges.
But the return of students to the classroom that year, which coincided with the start of Waibel's sophomore semester, sparked growing dissatisfaction in the community. As the new school year approached, Waibel said a small group of outspoken parents became less manageable, especially as masking became a controversial issue in schools.
In August, Illinois introduced a statewide mask requirement for all public and non-public K-12 schools, which makes school board decisions on this matter fairly simple: comply with the mask mandate or risk losing funding.
Waibel said the St. Charles School Council agreed to uphold the governor's order.
But the statewide requirement didn't stop a small minority of vocal parents from directing their anger on the school board members, Waibel said. She believes her molesters are primarily community members backed by a larger, nationwide parental rights organization focused on "protecting freedoms".
Although she wasn't the only member to deal with harassment in recent months, she said the brunt of the aggression was at her feet.
"I'm in the middle," said Waibel. "I think it bothers people that I'm not extreme. These people are very interested in polarizing our community."
Eventually, after months of online attacks and personal intimidation, she reached her stress limit.
"That's her goal," she said. "Your goal is to get people to resign."
Knowing that their departure would be celebrated by the same people who evicted them made the decision incredibly difficult, Waibel said. She's still afraid that one of her molesters might take her place on the board.
But Waibel believes her experience is representative of a larger dilemma facing school authorities across the country as incidents of violence and harassment are commonplace in an increasingly polarized world.
"I think the boards generally feel that they cannot take action because it violates people's rights under the First Amendment," she said.
"But if not, people who want to work altruistically will not be running for these positions," she added.
Waibel said she is pursuing further measures with local authorities to protect her safety and has already spoken to local politicians about possible laws to protect civil servants at the local level.
Read the original article on Business Insider

You should check here to buy the best price guaranteed products.

Last News

Baristas Are Sharing The Stereotypes They Assign To Popular Drink Orders, And I Feel Called Out

Knicks vs Nuggets : Thibs: 'We're out of sorts right now, we gotta get back in' | Knicks Post Game

Chris Cuomo Fired From CNN Amid Investigation of Involvement in Brother Andrew’s Case

Ben Roethlisberger reportedly told former teammates this is his last year as Steelers quarterback

Study: Omicron could be more transmissible due to sharing genetic material with common cold

Alec Baldwin hits back at George Clooney's response to 'Rust' shooting: 'Good for you'