There are moments in a public servant’s term when they must put aside any partisan divides in order to prioritize the safety of the community. In the spring, Central Bucks School Board President Dana Hunter ignored this sacred responsibility.
A man brought a concealed weapon to a school board meeting that was packed with students. The person I was sitting with immediately went to a security guard and informed him of the firearm.
I stayed silent because I knew the incident had already been reported and because I was scared. This man is someone who has frequently attended school board meetings, often using different aliases when addressing the board.
Doing so is not only a lie, but also illegal, according to Section 4904 of the PA Criminal Code.
I went home from the meeting that night with such an uneasy feeling.
The following morning I sent an email to the school’s superintendent, Dr. Abe Lucabaugh, and the entire school board detailing what I observed while also sharing my fears.
Even though I stated clearly in my email how serious this incident was, I did not receive a response.
To completely ignore such a report from a parent in the district is unconscionable. At the very least, they could have assured me the matter was being handled.
Although I heard nothing from Dana Hunter or Dr. Lucabaugh, I did receive a cease-and-desist letter from the man who had the concealed weapon, accusing me of spreading lies on social media about him.
No one, besides the people on that email, knew that I had seen a gun. There were no Right To Know requests put in at that time. I certainly did not post about it on social media because I was terrified.
To this day, I have not received an answer from Dr. Lucabaugh or school board president, Dana Hunter, about the incident or how this man knew that I reported him.
On the other hand, the email I sent reporting this man to Lucabaugh and the school board has been shared all over social media, and I have repeatedly been called a liar and threatened with further repercussions. The threats continue to this day.
Yet, despite Dana Hunter’s inaction, a letter from the Doylestown Township Police Chief Dean Logan said the man’s actions at the board meeting were “reviewed and deemed to be criminal in nature.” He was given a warning. The man has also been barred from attending future CBSD School Board meetings.
Months later, I still have so many lingering questions about this incident, questions that neither Dr. Lucabaugh nor Mrs. Hunter have even attempted to address.
Why was my name leaked? Would they have told the perpetrator if it had been someone else who reported him? What if it had been a student?
But, more than anything, I worry that a dangerous situation in a school building could go unreported because of fear of being ousted as a whistleblower. Instead of taking care of my report, it was shared publicly, putting me in further danger.
I want to make it clear that I have no particular issue with the man in question. I don’t know him nor have I ever shared his name or requested that anyone else share it.
This is about a school board majority and superintendent who have put their partisan alliances over public safety.
If Mrs. Hunter can’t put aside her partisan feelings to protect us, how can she possibly continue to lead this district? She cannot. It’s time for new leadership.
Lela Casey lives in Doylestown Township.
Editor’s Note: The man Casey is referencing denies he had a weapon at the meeting.