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Paradise Valley Superintendent Dr. Jesse Welsh and his family harassed, threatened over school closures

Superintendent Dr. Jesse Welsh
Posted at 9:21 PM, Dec 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-06 00:15:16-05

PARADISE VALLEY, AZ — ABC15 getting exclusive insight Saturday into why the superintendent of one of our state's largest school districts could resign Monday, after only a year-and-a-half on the job.

Since ABC15 first reported the Paradise Valley Unified School District governing board will consider Superintendent Dr. Jesse Welsh's resignation during a special meeting Monday, ABC15 has been inundated with messages from concerned parents, teachers and staff. All of them claim Dr. Welsh's possible departure is due to disturbing behavior from parents demanding in-person instruction.

The district currently has two of three benchmarks in red and switched all students to remote learning on November 23. The decision seems to have taken the ongoing community conflict to a new level.

ABC15 has confirmed the validity of photos, showing signs littered across Dr. Welsh's yard.

One group in favor of in-person learning, even posted where Welsh and several governing board members live, encouraging followers to watch for any "non-essential activities."

A records search reveals at least two calls for service from the Phoenix Police Department since September, regarding harassment at Dr. Welsh's home.

On Saturday a source close to the district confirmed to ABC15 that, "Dr. Welsh and his family have been the targets of harassment and threatening behavior, both at their home and their children’s school."

Dr. Welsh, telling ABC15 he "cannot comment on Monday's meeting," but his supporters have now launched a petition.

The petition's creator writing, "The way Dr. Welsh and his family have been/are being treated is not okay. He has done the absolute best job he can, given the situation and facts."

The petition received thousands of signatures within the first nine hours.

Monday's special governing board meeting is scheduled for 1:00pm.