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FIRST ON FOX – A decision by the District of Arizona to publicly release the names of parents requesting records, including the nature of the request, on its official website, has led to accusations that the district was trying to humiliate them. The parents have since faced harassment online following the disclosures.
The Scottsdale Unified School District claimed the decision was made for transparency – but it had no intention of releasing the actual documents requested when completed – only “the name of the requesting party, the request made and status”.
The district also said the policy would go into effect July 1, but up to 10 months of relatives’ names were initially released during the rollout.
“Our intention is never to embarrass a claimant, but rather for the district to be accountable and transparent,” the district told Fox News Digital. “Unfortunately, some previous recording requests have also been released. This error has been corrected as soon as it was brought to our attention.”
On the contrary, parents who spoke to Fox News Digital said they believed the district was trying to humiliate and intimidate them into stopping them from looking for records.
“The district seems desperate to hide information from parents. To me, this…bullying has only provided more motivation to keep asking questions,” mother Jill Dunican told Fox News Digital.
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A complaint was filed with the Arizona Ombudsman’s Office – Citizen’s Aide last Tuesday by parent and attorney Chris Evans requesting an investigation into the district.
“I allege that the district made the decision to release the applicants’ names and applications in an effort to deter parents from making records requests,” Evans said. “Every potential claimant must now accept the possibility of being doxxed and ridiculed by the other political side for simply exercising their right to public records.”
“There have already been calls for parental harassment from fringe, district-aligned and left-leaning parent groups,” Dunican said.
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A Facebook page titled “Respect Our Scottsdale Students” attacked and shared the names of parents asking for public records.
“[Name redacted] – a really busy and apparently really troubled soul: She wants to see everything that is written… which includes the keywords… sexuality, sexual… Think about it: [name redacted] wants to know everything anyone has said about pretty much anything to do with sex.”
“[Name Redacted] – she wants all emails about anyone who uses the word “gender”. Really, [name redacted]? How messed up are you? 22,000 children and around 2,500 teachers and staff and you want to read everything you find kinky about them? Find yourself a new hobby,” the message continues.
“[Name redacted]: Asked for every response to the SUSD student and community climate survey… [name redacted] is a severely demented human being, by the way.”
“I think it was a predictable result of the policy change,” Evans said of the harassment parents experienced.
Amy Carney, a parent who is also running for a school board position, said what the district was doing was “not illegal” but it was also “wrong” and “against parents.”
Carney added that she is aware of a handful of mothers who are upset about the disclosure of their names. “I heard…of a mother… [who] is mortified. She is shy. And that’s exactly what they wanted… It’s wrong to do this to parents in your community just because you don’t want the truth to come out. Is it legal? Most likely. But it is immoral. It’s wrong.”
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“It appears that releasing the parents’ names, in this case, is not done in a good faith interest of transparency, but rather to embarrass parents,” Goldwater Institute litigation director Jon Riches said. at Fox News Digital.
“The combination of the names of redacted district staff and outgoing parents filing requests for records made me realize how committed Superintendent Scott Menzel is to advancing his agenda on our children,” Dunican said.
Dunican’s reference came from a June public records request that was returned with faculty names redacted in the documents. The district attorney explained at the time that the redaction was done to protect the employees from false “accusations of… ‘grooming,'” according to the emails reviewed by Fox News Digital.
“Parents have a strong interest in maintaining a safe and secure environment for our children, including, where possible, not creating situations where minors are recruited by adults and manipulated into engaging in conversations sexualized on scientifically false gender storylines,” Dunican replied to the neighborhood via email.
“Your aversion to media coverage does not absolve you of your legal obligation to respond to parents’ requests for public records,” Dunican added.
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“[T]Removing employee names and/or emails is not part of our regular process,” the District told Fox News. from the district and social media related to a specific issue earlier this summer.”
“The redaction was done, in this limited instance, to address safety and security concerns,” the district added.
“Concerned parents don’t want to be intimidated. We will use our legal rights over public records to hold district employees accountable and expose adults who promote gender confusion and inappropriate sexual content to children without parental consent,” a said Dunican.