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Ex-teacher fined for talking about shooting people over COVID

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

A former Sinking Springs Elementary School teacher was ordered to pay a fine after admitting to a summary offense in a case accusing him of making comments about shooting people over COVID last year.

Chad Gerrick

Chad Gerrick, 51, of West Manchester Township, pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct offense during a hearing in magisterial district court Monday, court staff said. A misdemeanor charge of making terroristic threats was dismissed, and he was fined $100 as part of the plea.

Gerrick was arrested in October 2021 based on accusations that he talked about shooting Central York School District administrators if he became infected with COVID-19, and about going into the school and spreading the illness.

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The comments reportedly stemmed from Gerrick’s alleged frustration over the district’s COVID policies after a plastic barrier he installed was removed from his classroom. The Central York district had some of the highest numbers of coronavirus cases among public schools in the county in 2021.

Central York School District Educational Service Center in Springettsbury Township, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Gerrick was suspended after his arrest, and school board members voted to fire him in December as the criminal case was pending. He had worked at the district as a science and math teacher for about 18 years.

"While I wish these charges had never been filed I’m glad that we were able to get the case resolved and the original charge dismissed," Chris Ferro, Gerrick's attorney, said in a statement. "Although I’m confident Chad would have been found not guilty at a trial, this resolution allows him and his family the ability to move forward now and put this unfortunate situation behind them."

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With the guilty plea and the dismissal of the misdemeanor charge, the case was bumped down from a criminal matter to a non-traffic case, since the disorderly conduct count was a summary offense, according to court staff.

Ferro said Gerrick has already paid the fine and resolved the case.

— Aimee Ambrose can be reached at aambrose@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.