MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the first time, we’re getting a look at the threatening messages Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray has been getting since he announced there would be no in-person classes when the school year starts August 31.
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In a tweet from a now-suspended account, a Twitter user writes: “You deserve to be tortured in the worst way possible.”
The user goes on to say, “Im [sic] dedicating my life to ruining you and your family you pathetic [expletive].”
An email sent to Ray Sunday reads, “If I was a student athlete today, I would be burning down the Board of Education right now. Evidently burning down buildings is something to be celebrated these days! You know, because #BLM! I can’t say I hope it doesn’t happen, along with the homes of each individual responsible for making this horrendous decision.”
A variation of the same email was sent to school board member Scott McCormick and the sender includes his name and phone number.
In an interview with WREG Friday, Ray said he made SCS security aware of the threats and that they notified law enforcement.
“Sometimes folks just disagree with your decision, and that’s okay, but when you start making threats and talking about burning buildings and saying that you going to make it your life to come after me and my family, I take that seriously,” he said.
In addition to threatening messages, Ray said people have shown up to his home uninvited as well.
This week he said someone knocked on his door when he wasn’t home and his adult son answered. He said he was home during a similar incident earlier this summer.
“They did start to ask me about district decisions and why I made certain decisions and, you know, kind of mouthing off and I asked them to leave. That was just way off base,” said Ray.
Ray said Shelby County Schools is taking all threats seriously but vowed that he would not be intimidated.
“We’re gonna focus on safety and we’re gonna focus on the children,” he said.