Public school districts accused of using intimidation to conceal controversial curricula

Parents in Arizona have reportedly been harassed after their names were made public following requests for information on curriculum. 

According to a report by Fox News, the Scottsdale Unified School District chose to “publicly release the names of parents requesting records, including the nature of the request, on its official website. … Parents have since experienced online harassment following the disclosures.” 

School districts in several states are said to be resorting to similar humiliating tactics to intimidate parents who question their schools’ curricula. 

The parents have requested information about what is being taught in classrooms on politically charged subjects, including gender identity, much of which is considered by many parents to be inappropriate in public schools.   

Although the school districts included in Fox News reports were located in only four states – Arizona, California, Oregon, and Wisconsin – parents in other states also may be deterred from requesting such information from their school administrators and school boards for fear of being subjected to same kind of intimidating activities by leftist activists documented on conservative news sites. 

But parents say they are undeterred by attempts at intimidation. 

A Scottsdale parent, Jill Dunigan, told Fox News her district “appears desperate to hide information from parents. For me … this intimidation has only provided more motivation to keep asking questions.” 

Chris Evans, a fellow Arizona parent who is an attorney, said, “I’m alleging the district has made a decision to publish requesters’ names and requests in an effort to deter parents from making records requests. Every potential requester now must accept the possibility of being doxxed and ridiculed by the other political side for merely exercising their right to public records.” 

A Wisconsin parent, Alexandra Schweitzer accused her school district of trying to stop her criticism of inappropriate books and videos by threatening her with legal action. After she expressed her concerns about curricula, the district sent her a cease and desist letter threatening future litigation for “defamatory” statements.” Her attorneys accused the district of “using taxpayer dollars to silence a parent.”  

“My biggest message to parents and taxpayers is the parent is the primary educator of the child,” Schweitzer said. “And we have a right to know what’s going on inside the classroom. … And I’m here because many, many parents don’t want to stand up. … They’re scared their child will get bullied or they’re scared they’ll get blacklisted themselves. And I’m not going to stand down to tyranny like that.”   

Dunigan, a self-described victim of alleged school district intransigence in Scottsdale, summed up the point made by many parent groups when she wrote to the district, “Parents have a strong interest in maintaining a safe and secure environment for our children including, to the extent possible, not creating situations where minors are recruited by adults and manipulated into engaging in sexualized conversations about scientifically false gender scenarios.”  

“Your dislike of media coverage does not absolve you from your legal duty to fulfill parents’ public records requests,” Dunigan wrote. 

Predicting a growing backlash to public school officials’ attempts to silence criticism through the use of intimidating practices, Dunigan warned: 

“Concerned parents are unwilling to be intimidated. We will use our legal rights to public documents to keep district employees accountable and expose adults who promote gender confusion and inappropriate sexual content to children without parental consent.”