CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham Board of Education announced Monday night at its regular meeting that it was charged a total of $6,800 by the Chatham Township and Chatham Borough police departments for added security following an appearance by two Chatham mothers on a national news show Feb. 20.
Tatiana Gilbert, assistant board secretary, detailed the charges by the two police departments for added security at the board central offices at 58 Meyersville Rd., and at the Chatham Middle School in the week following the television appearance by the Chatham mothers. The township charged $2,500 and the borough $4,300.
Two Chatham mothers had appeared on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" to talk about the emphasis on the religion of Islam in a 7th grade class.
"The additional police presence was due directly to the false statements made on national television, which then got middle America all riled up and sending threatening, violent, vulgar, either messages, packages, emails, voicemails," board president Jill Critchley Weber said. "So we needed some additional police presence here at the central office and also at the middle school."
Tatiana Gilbert, assistant board secretary, and board president Jill Critchley Weber speak about the $6,800 the BOE was charged by the Chatham police departments for added security
Chatham resident Bob Higgins had asked the board to research how much the added security cost the district at the previous board of education meeting.
Weber went on to state that the $6,800 "comes right out of our operating budget." Weber made a direct connection to expenditures that were cut from the proposed budget.
"The $6,800 would have paid for sailing, the $6,800 would have paid for the paddle team, $6,800 could have gone to books," Weber said. "All because of reaction to false statements. Infuriating."
Libby Hilsenrath, one of the Chatham mothers who appeared on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" show in question, attended the BOE meeting Monday night. When asked for her reaction she said, "No comment."