Shelby County School leader says his family has been targeted over district’s reopening plans


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools Superitendent Dr. Joris Ray says he and his family have been threatened over the district’s reopening plans.

WREG obtained an email in which Ray said he has become a target on social media. He has even had at least one stranger show up at his house.

WREG obtained a letter that Ray sent the Shelby County School Board Wednesday about a recent threat made against him and his family.

It states that Ray “received an email and social media messages from an individual or perhaps multiple people, who apparently find fault with the tough decision we have made as a district.”

Even more concerning, Ray said he recently received “an unsolicited visit from a stranger who showed up at my home to discuss District matters.”

All Shelby county school classes will now be held virtually in light of the coronavirus, Ray announced recently.

Ray said there is always going to be someone who is unhappy with any decision, but he said he will not be intimidated.

“You close schools, you’re upset. You open schools, people are upset. It’s not about popularity and not having folks feeling good. It’s about what’s best for students and keeping them safe.”

Local law enforcement has been made aware of the recent threats.

Another school board member, Scott McCormick, says someone sent him an email that mentioned burning down the homes of board members who voted to close school.

The news comes a week after vandals targeted the homes of several Shelby County leaders.

School Board President Miska Bibbs says it’s disheartening, and a sign of where we are as a nation.

“I believe that everyone has an opportunity to voice their opinion, but I definitely don’t believe you have to do it in a way to make people make people feel unsafe,” she said.

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