Group Attempt Citizen's Arrest of Principal After Child Made to Quarantine

Police were called to a school in Arizona after three adults threatened to use plastic zip ties to make a citizen's arrest on its principal because of a disagreement over COVID-19 quarantine policies.

According to Vail Unified School District, the incident occurred after a positive test for COVID-19 at the Mesquite Elementary School.

The positive test meant a number of students had to go into quarantine, under guidelines from Pima County Health Department. As a result, one student had to miss a school trip, reported KGUN.

Under state policy, all schools must report COVID cases and close contacts of the person who has tested positive to the local county health department, which will then determine which people need to quarantine.

Upon hearing that the child must isolate, the student involved, their parents and one other adult drove to the school to protest the decision on Thursday morning.

The group demanded to speak to the principal, Diane Vargo, and claimed the school was breaking the law by not letting the child on the field trip.

The third adult, a local coffee shop owner, livestreamed the confrontation on his business' Instagram account.

In the footage, the group showed that they were carrying what they called "law enforcement-grade" zip ties and said they were going to make a citizen's arrest of Vargo.

The principal invited the group into her office to hear their concerns, before asking them to leave school grounds.

At first the group refused and Vargo left her office without incident.

The Tucson Police Department was called, but the group left before officers arrived, reported KVOA.

A police spokesperson confirmed to Newsweek that officers had responded to a report of a fight brewing at the school. At least one individual was later arrested for trespassing.

Vail Unified School District has been contacted for further comment.

The incident occurred as schools across Arizona are reporting an increase in COVID-19 infections among children.

On August 30, Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for Maricopa County Department of Public Health, warned that the most populous county in Arizona was experiencing three times as many school outbreaks as it had during the peak in February.

Sunenshine told the county Board of Supervisors that one in four COVID-19 cases in Maricopa County was among children, and 6 percent of COVID patients hospitalized were children.

Despite the rise of COVID cases in children, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, is prohibiting schools from imposing mandates and has threatened to withdraw funding from any school that defies the state law, which is due to go into effect on September 29.

Update 9/3/21, 11:30 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comment from Tucson Police Department.

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File photo of hand sanitizer and other cleaning products on a table at Freedom Preparatory Academy on September 10, 2020, in Provo, Utah. Police were called to a school in Arizona in a row over a child being told to quarantine. Getty Images