Striking Neshaminy teachers report death threat

The striking Neshaminy teachers’ union has reported a death threat to one of its members and physical and verbal attacks on others as they picket outside schools, leaders said Tuesday.

The death threat was posted by a student on Facebook over the weekend, union President Louise Boyd said in a written statement. “Screen shots” of the threat have been given to police and the school district, she said.

A secondary school teacher reported the death threat to Superintendent Louis Muenker on Sunday, and requested anonymity, school board President Ritchie Webb said. The teacher’s email was forwarded to the district’s attorneys, he said.

“It didn’t happen on school grounds, but we look out for the safety of our teachers,” Webb said.

The union also has reported incidents of cars swerving at teachers who were picketing outside the district’s 13 schools Monday, on the first day of their strike over a four-year contract impasse. Eggs and other items were thrown at teachers by passing motorists, in addition to verbal taunts, according to the union statement.

“Things are getting out of hand,” Boyd said.  “There’s no justification for anyone doing what they did to our members yesterday.”

Because of the threats, the union advised its 633 teachers, guidance counselors, librarians and nurses to skip the school board’s public meeting Tuesday night.

The strike has forced the cancellation of classes, extending the school year up to two weeks, and the meeting had been expected to be heated.

The teachers have been working without a raise for four years, under terms of the expired contract that the board says it can no longer afford.