GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Gwinnett County officials have issued a warning after they were made aware of threats to the Gwinnett County Board of Education on social media.
In a statement, the Gwinnett County Solicitor's Office says that "under no circumstances will this behavior be tolerated in Gwinnett County."
"Individuals who would endanger the public with a reckless disregard for the safety of others will be prosecuted to the highest extent of the law," the solicitor's office said.
Officials shared an excerpt of a text between two anonymous individuals in which one person suggests funding "professionals" to follow Gwinnett County Board of Education members "24/7."
"A week of constant watching will get them to change," the text reads.
(Gwinnett County Solicitor’s Office)
According to officials, anyone convicted of threatening the lives of members of the board could receive a sense of up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
"More serious offenses could be referred to the District Attorney for prosecution," said Solicitor-General Whiteside. "All threatening social media posts directed towards the Gwinnett County Board of Education are being investigated."
The announcement by the solicitor-general comes as the metro Atlanta county faces challenges to its mask mandate in schools. GCPS' current guidelines expect students and staff to wear masks throughout the building with accommodations for people with medical documentation and certain disabilities. It also outlines expectations for "mask breaks" and the flexibility of students and staff to be relieved from masks during periods throughout the day.
The mask mandate has led to protests outside the Gwinnett County Public Schools headquarters and tense public meetings.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of a group of parents has requested a judge toss the mandate, arguing that the school system does not have the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of a child's parent or guardian.