A New Jersey father who refused to pick his child up from school after a COVID-19 exposure followed contractors into the building and began shouting at school officials Wednesday, local police said.
It was only after officials at the Beachwood Elementary School told John Wehrle they would have to contact the Department of Child Protection if he didn't bring the student home that he ultimately agreed.
Wehrl took to Facebook to defend himself:
I only went this far because I should be able to ask questions. And if a school is telling you your child needs to quarantine there should be a plan of recourse, as well as information given to the parents related to the exposure.
The school offered none. And the officer felt it was necessary to threaten to call dyfs becuae I wasn’t happy with not having my questions answered. “We can’t answer that” isn’t a sufficient answer to any question.
Things began when the school nurse called Wehrle to tell him his child had been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual and would have to be picked up and quarantined, police said. The child would be able to participate virtually and that if Wehrle needed a Chrome book, one would be provided.
Wehrle, however, repeatedly interrupted and talked over the nurse as she tried to give him information on his child's situation, police said.
He apparently told the nurse that he would not be picking up his child and the child would remain in school. After trying to further explain why the child needed to be picked up, the nurse said Wehrle only continued interrupting her while she was trying to address his concerns.
He also continued to state that he was not going to pick up his child from school.
Some time later, the school resource officer got a call from a noticeably upset front office administrative assistant at the Beachwood Elementary School saying a man had gotten inside of the school and was demanding to speak with the vice principal.
Wehrle had apparently entered the school without being authorized by following contractors after they were buzzed in. He was irate and screaming once inside the office causing a disturbance inside of the school while school was in session, authorities said.
He shouted loudly that he was not taking his son out of the school.
"The employees, who were visibly shaken, advised that it took one of the male contractors to escort Mr. Wehrle outside of the building," police said.
The officer -- Officer Meissner -- asked Wehrl how he could further help him. Meissner told Wehrl if he refused to bring his child home, he would have to call the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (formerly known as DYFS) "being that there was no parent or guardian willing to take custody."
Wehrle then agreed to take his child and left the premises.
"We remind the public that the Beachwood Police Department and Toms River School System must adhere to the State of New Jersey Executive Orders issued by Governor Murphy and the rules that govern them," police said.
"We please ask that you remain patient through this difficult time for all of us. We understand the frustrations many of you have with the rules that are currently in place but we as a department, school district, and parents must work together to navigate through this difficult time."
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