Parent Sues School District, Claims Board President Got Her Fired over Reopening Push

(File photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Elena Dinverno, a parent of two children in Rochester Community Schools, has sued the school district, claiming the board president contacted her employer and got her fired for posting content on social media urging school reopening.

Dinverno filed a civil lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Detroit against board president Kristin Bull, the Oakland County district, and superintendent Robert Shaner, arguing they violated her first amendment right to free speech, The Detroit News reported.

According to the lawsuit, Dinverno was an active member of two Facebook groups, “RCS Parents for In-Person Education” and “Conservative Parents for Rochester,” that regularly criticized the school district’s conduct and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. In one of the groups, Dinverno requested video testimonials from parents and students struggling with the challenges of virtual learning and remote instruction.

The suit alleges that a board member called her place of work, Blake’s Hard Cider Co. in Armada, and accused Dinverno of threatening the school district by engaging in her online Facebook forums. The company subsequently terminated Dinverno’s employment on December 18, the lawsuit said.

Dinverno said the district issued her a cease-and-desist letter on Jan. 14

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