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Michigan School District Allegedly Spied on Parents’ Social Media Posts and Reported Them to Their Employers

Michigan School District Allegedly Spied on Parents’ Social Media Posts and Reported Them to Their Employers

“I was stunned. I have a stack that is like a phone book. This was an active group that wanted their kids back in school.”

Some parents in Michigan have launched a lawsuit alleging that their social media posts were monitored by the school district and in some cases even reported to their employers.

The parents had been critical of the school district’s COVID policies.

This is warfare.

John Rigolizzo reports at the Daily Wire:

Michigan School District Spied On Parents’ Facebook Groups, Reported Them To Their Employers, Lawsuit Alleges

The superintendent of a school district in Michigan monitored the social media posts of parents who criticized the district’s COVID-19 policy, then reported those parents to their employers, and in at least one case, the police, according to a lawsuit filed by a parent in the district.

The Detroit News first reported Tuesday that Robert Shaner, the superintendent of Rochester Community Schools, made the calls to police because he was “concerned and scared” about the “aggressive” social media posts from parents, some of which suggested staging protests outside school board members’ homes, and an email he allegedly received from another parent that stated that the parent was going to “wreak havoc.” Shaner made the comments as part of a deposition made on February 3 in connection with the lawsuit.

The suit, originally filed in May 2021, but amended earlier this month, was brought by Elena Dinverno, a parent of two children at Rochester Community Schools. The suit alleges that Shaner and another high-ranking member of the school board contacted Dinverno’s employer and falsely claimed that she had made threats against the board, which resulted in her being fired from her job.

Scott McClallen of the Center Square has more on the particulars of the lawsuit:

Rochester Schools collect dossier, call employers on critical parents

A lawsuit filed on May 3, 2021, claims Dinverno advocated on two separate Facebook groups to reopen schools in-person: “RCS Parents for In-Person Education” and “Conservative Parents for Rochester.” Dinverno asked other parents for video testimony of how virtual school was hurting kids…

The lawsuit alleges that RCS public relations members Amy DiCresce and Lori Grein were assigned to compile a dossier on district parents’ social media posts and comments critical of the school district, which were circulated to school officials.

Gordon told the News that the school spent taxpayer money to surveil parent’s social media posts and gather personal information, including place of employment, names of children, and the schools they attend.

“I have found at taxpayer expense they had high-level people spending hours monitoring parents’ social posts,” Gordon told The News. “I was stunned. I have a stack that is like a phone book. This was an active group that wanted their kids back in school.”

Schools are not going to win this war with parents. They have forgotten who funds the schools with their taxes.

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Comments

He’s a witchy with a b little Karen.

AnAdultInDiapers | February 27, 2022 at 12:13 pm

“contacted Dinverno’s employer and falsely claimed that she had made threats against the board”

If they threatened to “wreak havoc” then it wasn’t false claims. It also wasn’t a sackable offence. It also doesn’t justify the school board making hyperbolic claims to someone’s employer.

    “Wreak havoc” is an extremely vague and subjective term, and by itself does not constitute a threat (of violence) against board members. It has no specific meaning, but might generally imply a willingness to take demonstrative action in opposition to the school board, to upset the status quo, or to “disrupt” the boards’ agenda. All within the parents’ rights.

      Milhouse in reply to sfharding. | February 27, 2022 at 3:04 pm

      Ah, but did he say they threatened violence? That’s not in the story. He may simply have truthfully said they made threats, and it was the employer who jumped to conclusions; or the employer may have understood perfectly well that the threats were of legitimate political activity, but decided s/he didn’t like that.

      Unless they had a contract that specified otherwise, a “sackable offense” is whatever the employer decides it is. If the employer decides to fire someone for threatening to wreak metaphorical havoc with the school board by campaigning against them or demonstrating against them or whatever, then that’s a “sackable offense”.

        rscalzo in reply to Milhouse. | February 28, 2022 at 8:57 am

        And employers can be sued and take their chances against a jury.

          Milhouse in reply to rscalzo. | February 28, 2022 at 5:15 pm

          Sued for what? Without a contract there’s no case to take to a jury, and no honest judge will allow a jury near it.

        Rand in reply to Milhouse. | March 1, 2022 at 4:32 am

        I would suggest the parent who was fired pursue something like a lawsuit against the school board for tortious interference with contractual relations. This would likely revolve around the question at to whether the school board contacted employers simply to harm the parents in retaliation, rather than for some legitimate purpose. A jury might be receptive to awarding damages against government officials engaging in cancel culture. I certainly would be.

    The statement fails to meet the legal requirements to be considered a “threat”, so the claim Diverno issued a “threat” is false.

      Milhouse in reply to DaveGinOly. | February 27, 2022 at 3:06 pm

      Only for the purpose of bringing criminal charges for “making threats”. A threat to run against someone, or to fire someone, or to stop being friends with someone, is perfectly legal, but it’s still a threat. And an employer can fire one for making it, if s/he wants to.

If schools have this sort of funding available, it should be returned to the supposed use which taxpayers are funding.

First oppose any and all school bond elections, Make them use the obviously more than adequate funds they now have.

Second, replace all school board members. And pay attention to what is going on with your school board. Not just parents either, taxpayers all have a stake in what the local school board does with the money w̶e̶ ̶g̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶m̶ they extort from us.

This sort of stuff has got to stop.

The school district is acting ‘Putinish’. Not a good look.

Morning Sunshine | February 27, 2022 at 12:41 pm

also – avoid social media at all costs.

I taught my kids from day one to assume that every one of their social media posts will follow them forever, like a bad tattoo.

I also told them to assume that all of their social media are read and recorded by the FBI, the CIA, and the KGB. Now I guess I need to add the local school district, which seems to be taking over the work of the CIA.

The obvious solution is to demand the State Legislature begin the process of funding the student not the system.

They’re intimidating parents from offering opinions. IANAL, but isn’t this just another kind of prior restraint on 1A and isn’t that illegal?

The left in our own country is no different than Putin or Xi – they just dont have the monopoly on force – yet. The woke US military is training against you and I, not Putin or Xi.

This is clearly an attempt to inhibit First Amendment protected activity which is no different than protesters marching in front of houses and offices of conservatives

“They have forgotten who funds the schools with their taxes.”

This is irrelevant.

The government monopoly bureaucratic “public” school system is inherently unable to satisfy the needs of a widely diverse population of parents. This is why we should be implementing school choice as quickly as possible.

However, parents should not wait for school choice. They should remove their children from the government schools immediately. How much damage is acceptable?

I don’t understand why LI fails to advise parents to get their kids out. Perhaps someone can explain this to me.

    I have explained it to you, gibbie. That you didn’t like my answer doesn’t mean I didn’t try. 😛

      You should repeat it.

      I believe you said that you couldn’t recommend voting for particular candidates or parties. I can understand that, but I don’t see how it prevents you from recommending that parents remove their children from government schools.

      Perhaps I missed something. It wouldn’t surprise me if I did.

        Yes, that’s what I said. I also noted that we provide information and resources, sometimes our own opinions, but not advice. We’re not Dear Abby.

        Here’s my original response to this question:

        @gibbie, in his many interviews across media platforms and on LIF streamed events that are then published on LI, the prof does offer running for school boards as one of the ways that parents and concerned citizens without school-/college-aged children can make a difference.

        And yes, since LIF was established, we are no longer permitted to endorse a particular political candidate for office (though I don’t recall any LI political candidate endorsements before that, either). We also don’t (not can’t) urge people to vote in any particular way (i.e. Republican), though I think it’s pretty clear where each of us stands. We provide information and resources, often our various opinions, but we really don’t “do” advice or GOTV stuff.

          As an addendum, if you want my “Dear Fuzzy” advice, I would definitely recommend parents who are able to do so to get their kids out of K-12 public education post hasty. Whether that means homeschooling, private schools, pod schooling, whatever, it’s the best way to ensure that your child doesn’t become indoctrinated by racist lunatic Marxists. Not everyone can do this, though, so it’s up to parents to make up their own minds based on their situations.

      M Poppins in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | February 28, 2022 at 8:34 am

      answer: because many parents are lazy, complacent and stupid and have no sense of responsibility towards their children. That’s why there’s a generation that can’t tell time or sign their own name, because their parents were too lazy to teach them.

    DaveGinOly in reply to gibbie. | February 27, 2022 at 3:02 pm

    The government monopoly bureaucratic “public” school system is inherently unable to satisfy the needs of a widely diverse population of parents.

    A “woke” reason for insisting upon school choice? If progressives could be convinced that public schools are inherently racist, the issue might actually get some attention.

    artichoke in reply to gibbie. | February 27, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    I’d suggest (as maybe FS already has) that the parents are paying for the schools, and those without piles of money may not be able to pay for an additional school. We need school choice so the money follows the student.

Those parents are the superintendent’s employers, thru their school board. Will they manage to get him fired as they should?

I wonder…who is Gordon ?

Schools are not going to win this war with parents. They have forgotten who funds the schools with their taxes.
————————————————–
For decades I’ve tried to tell neighbors to vote against school millages. maybe now they will.
As and aside, dana nessel, state AG, suggested those people who protested at the Capitol over wHitler’s mandates (which nessel will have as she’s a lesbian) with tactical gear and AR15’s should go to the Ukraine to help out. She’s a vile runt.

    artichoke in reply to 4fun. | February 28, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    In NY the schools win. According to state law, if there’s no contract with the teachers union, they get a raise that amounts to almost 3% per year. That’s a legal obligation of the town(s) in which the district is located, which is allowed and required to charge school taxes to fund it.

Which she’ll NEVER have. I’m tired and need a nap. Didn’t double check like I normally try.

SuddenlyHappyToBeHere | February 28, 2022 at 8:28 am

You wrote: “ This is warfare.”

No, Russia invading Ukraine is war. “This” is a political and social dispute.

Taxpayers should start defunding them. Thankfully my town is sweeping them out.

If this is true, and apparently, there is no reason to believe it is not, our Republic is already all but lost.

I agree the public school industrial complex has forgotten who funds them and to whom they must be accountable. Or perhaps more accurately, they no longer care because they have amassed so much political power through the teachers unions funding democrat politicians. But I’m not convinced they won’t win this battle. Even with all that’s transpired over the last two years, I have a sense that if they simply dropped all Covid nonsense today, enough parents would be so relieved that they could still go back to business as usual. At this point I’m not sure what’s best for kids. In the short run it’s getting schools open and unmasked, but in the longer run I’m thinking it would be better for them if the school bureaucracies continue to drag this out long enough to create the political will for a complete uprooting of the whole rotten system, CRT, pronouns, common core and 1619 included, and move to a full voucher model.

Robert Shaner, the superintendent of Rochester Community Schools, made the calls to police because he was “concerned and scared” about the “aggressive” social media posts from parents, some of which suggested staging protests outside school board members’ homes, and an email he allegedly received from another parent that stated that the parent was going to “wreak havoc.”

Isn’t this the standard fare of BLM ?
The schools had no problem with BLM

    artichoke in reply to Neo. | February 28, 2022 at 4:23 pm

    BLM is no threat to their system; it’s their shock troops. We’re a threat, so they attack us, as we pay for them to do it.

    We need to start over. Whose kids are learning so much in school they won’t be better off with a reset on our terms? But they’ll find some “protected class” and bring a civil rights attack and force us to pay even more.

    Not sure what the answer is, but defunding is a part of it.

They have forgotten who funds the schools with their taxes.

Why should they give a damn about the taxpayers? Even if the parents refused to pay taxes, which is vanishingly unlikely, every property in the district is assessed property tax for schools. Money rolls in regardless of what parents want, so there is no incentive whatsoever to cater to their desires.