TikTok goes viral calling for removal of Collier County school board member

Reporter: Gail Levy

Emails pouring into WINK News calling for Governor Ron DeSantis to remove a Collier County leader from office.

Jerry Rutherford, a Collier County school board member, is getting a lot of heat for saying corporal punishment, like paddling, should come back.

Laura Loray created a TikTok letting people know to reach out to WINK News, DeSantis, and Rutherford with the same message.

They won’t accept corporal punishment for children in any way, shape, or form.

Loray is clear about her thoughts on Rutherford, the newly elected Collier County school board member.

“I’m not saying that we have to go back to paddling; that may be a good solution. What I’m saying is there has to be some kind of discipline,” Rutherford said on election night.

Loray’s TikToks on Rutherford’s stances went viral on the platform.

Hundreds and possibly thousands have started sending messages to WINK News, CNN, Rutherford, and the governor’s office.

“I think we’re up to 1600 emails being sent now, 1600 actions. So that’s a good response so far, and it’s been less than 24 hours,” Loray said.

The emails getting sent all have the same underlying theme saying, “If you truly care about protecting children, we demand that you remove Jerry Rutherford from his position.”

Although, people sending the emails may not live in Collier County or even Florida, for that matter.

Loray is a perfect example since she lives in New Jersey.

“I’ve gotten a lot of information that it’s happening in, in states across the country. So it does become our problem. If we don’t say something about this and put a huge spotlight on it, then this is going to be allowed to continue and then to escalate,” Loray responded to WINK News, asking why she stays involved if it isn’t her problem.

In Collier County, this would be tough to escalate because corporal punishment is already not allowed.

For the policy to change, board members would have to reverse it and have three out of the five members vote on it.

But Loray told WINK News she feels it’s important to speak up because it’s happening in other parts of the country where she believes this practice is something that should have been outlawed.

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