A group of parents in Rochester, Mich., are demanding a dramatic change in school leadership.
Parents expressed their anger at Rochester Community Public Schools administrators and school board members during a Monday meeting. Parents are demanding the school board fire Superintendent Robert Shaner, then tender their resignations.
The parents’ pique was prompted by revelations school employees were monitoring parents’ social media accounts, compiling dossiers of publicly disgruntled mothers and fathers, and phoning parents’ employers, which, in the case of Elena Dinverno, resulted in her firing.
The backlash from the incendiary language in a recent letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden asking for federal law enforcement to intervene on outspoken parents at school board meetings escalated this week when the group’s Ohio and Missouri chapters withdrew their respective memberships.
The Missouri School Boards Association in announcing its departure said the national group “demonstrated it does not currently align with MSBA’s guiding principles of local governance.”
The Ohio chapter was more direct, saying in its letter Monday that its departure was a “direct result” of the Sept. 29 letter to Biden.
Frustration at school boards boiled over for some parents and activists who protested outside of the Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C. Sunday.
A small crowd gathered for the “Parents Are Not ‘Domestic Terrorists’ Rally,” a reference to Merrick Garland’s Oct. 4 memorandum that called on the FBI to “use its authority” in response to the “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.”
Garland’s statement followed a letter from the National School Board Association (NSBA) that asked the federal government to get involved in the alleged “immediate threat” of violence from parents against American public schools and education officials. The letter encouraged President Joe Biden’s administration to use statutes such as the USA PATRIOT Act to address actions that could be “equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”