Superintendent for SCS interviewed on TODAY Show, says he’s been threatened for going virtual

Superintendent Ray to appear on TODAY Show

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The leader of Shelby County Schools made a guest appearance on the TODAY Show Friday morning. The segment focused on schools struggling with reopening during the pandemic.

Dr. Joris Ray, superintendent for SCS, discussed being threatened for going virtual and limiting sports.

Ray said, “I started getting messages on social media then I received an email message threatening me, threatening my family. No one’s going to determine not even threats is gonna keep me from keeping students safe.”

The Shelby County Superindent sent the following message to board members concerning the threats:

With abundant clarity about the seriousness of this situation, I’m writing to make you aware of recent threats made against me and my family. 

Over the past several days I have received an email and social media messages from an individual, or perhaps multiple people, who apparently find fault with the tough decisions we have made as a District.  Even more concerning, I recently received an unsolicited visit from a stranger who showed up at my home to discuss District matters.  As you have heard me say countless times, safety is paramount during this pandemic. Now I realize even more than ever that my safety and the safety of my family must be included in this line of thinking, as well.

I know people in our community are hurting, and we are doing our best to offer social and emotional support and resources to both our employees and families. As you have over the past few months, please continue to encourage any of your constituents in need to call our Social Emotional Support Line (901-416-8484) anytime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays for help.

However, there are people in our community who choose to spew hate and use tactics of intimidation, despite our efforts to prioritize the safety and well-being of all. I will not be intimidated by these cowardly acts and have consulted law enforcement officials for guidance in moving forward.

As always, I appreciate your steadfast support of my leadership. 

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