UPDATE (July 23, 2020 at 11:19 a.m.): We just received a statement from the President of the Palm Beach County Council of PTAs and PTSAs. She reports that Omni elected a new president in the spring and that the website is outdated. She also stressed that PTA’s promote child advocacy and respect. Please read the exceptionally well-written statement at the end of this article.
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — A woman identifying herself as Sarah Merzel, listed as the president of the Omni Middle School PTSA, sent a series of threatening, profanity laced messages to BocaNewsNow.com on Wednesday.
Those messages have been forwarded to the Palm Beach County School District.
Merzel, for reasons that remain unclear, was unhappy when BocaNewsNow.com updated the Palm Beach County positivity rate based on an email sent by Palm Beach County spokesperson John Jameson. In the email, which also appears on the Palm Beach County official website, the positivity rate was raised from a seemingly abnormal 8.3 percent to 12.36. While not great, 12.36 is much more in line with recent positivity updates. The initial number was an early Wednesday report from the Florida Dept. of Health.
Merzel, apparently angered by the new positivity rate, ironically cited BocaNewsNow.com’s reporting on two bullying incidents at Omni Middle School as she engaged in her own bullying — suggesting that the school’s perceived bullying problem is promulgated by adults.
Merzel posted the following to social media proclaiming that the positivity rate data is incorrect — then brought Omni Middle School into the mix as she blasted health officials and us: “they’re wrong! you’re wrong! I’m in the know! You f…ing screwed Omni multiple times! Don’t mess with me.”
Here are the classy posts, again, from the woman listed as the Parent Teacher Student Association president for Omni Middle School:
But wait, there’s more.
[Ed. Note: National Inquire would be a question posed to the nation. National Enquirer is a tabloid news operation that — wait for it — was once in fact based in Boca Raton].
If you don’t recall our reporting that received significant attention:
This story is about a young boy inappropriately “baker acted” while defending himself at Boca Raton’s Omni Middle School, and this is the video that went viral of a bullying fight at Omni Middle School, caught on camera. A child was seriously injured.
We provided Ms. Merzel with an opportunity to rescind her comments. She did not. There was no immediate response from Omni Principal Nikia DeLuz.
The messages from Merzel were posted as the Palm Beach County School Board voted to delay the 2020-2021 school year until August 31st, utilize distance learning, and continue school until June 18th, 2021.
[CLARIFICATION 10:27 am July 23 2020]: While listed as the PTSA president on the Omni Middle School website, Merzel claimed in a Facebook message that she is not PTSA president. She has not responded, however, to a request for specifics.]
[UPDATE: 11:20 a.m. July 23, 2020 from the President of the Palm Beach County Council of PTAs/PTSAsl]:
“While Sarah Merzel is still listed on Omni Middle School PTSA’s website as the president, she is no longer president there. Omni Middle School PTSA held an election in the spring and elected a new president. However, they have not updated their website yet. PTA’s mission is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. In order to accomplish our mission, we have found that maintaining respectful communication is key to accomplishing our goals.”
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