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MIAMI – A father could face prison time for an alleged threat he made against his son’s private school, but he says the comment was taken out of context.

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Mark Polyakov is facing charges and his son was expelled from Scheck Hillel Community School in Florida after Polyakov allegedly texted a group of parents that he wanted to burn down the school over its mask policy, WFOR reported. Polyakov allegedly said in the chat titled, “No more masks hillel,”: “You should of told that board member go (expletive) yourself we will leave and burn hillel down to the ground that’s why there rankings have steadily gone down! What’s his name? This board member,” WFOR reported.

Polyakov was arrested on charges he threatened to burn down his son’s private school, and then two days later in the same group chat said, “I just got kicked out of Hillel. I will burn this school down,” WSVN reported. He was banned from school property and his son was expelled after a parent shared his comments, WSVN reported.

But in an interview with WPLG, Polyakov said the use of the word “burn” was taken out of context. “I legally said I want to burn the school in the sense of filing a lawsuit and hiring an attorney,” Polyakov told WPLG. “I have my attorney preparing legal documents.” Polyakov told the station he was enraged when he saw his son wearing a face mask at the school’s athletic field.

“I regret the words that I used … I regret using those words absolutely but I don’t regret going after the school legally, Polyakov told WPLG.

In a statement, the interim head of school said, “Our school holds security as a cornerstone of our institution, and we take any threat very seriously and follow all guidelines, including reporting any such threats to the police … We have zero tolerance for aggressive or violent language or behavior,” WSVN reported.

Polyakov has pleaded not guilty to charges of writing threats to kill or do bodily injury, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, 15 years probation and $10,000 in fines, WFOR reported.