ROCHESTER, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit parent who claimed he lost his job for criticizing COVID-19 policies at local schools has reached a tentative agreement to settle a lawsuit against the district, an official said Tuesday. attorney.
Controversy over the Rochester District’s handling of outspoken parents continues to simmer in the Oakland County community. There were calls for the resignation of Superintendent Bob Shaner and other officials at a meeting on Monday.
“We need to address … the abusive and bullying behavior of our district that has been condoned by our school board,” Andrew Weaver told the school board.
Elena Dinverno has participated in Facebook groups supporting the reopening of schools for in-person instruction in 2020. She said she frequently questions school board decisions.
Dinverno sued last spring, claiming her free speech rights were violated when she lost her job after a school board member contacted her employer.
In a court filing, the district now acknowledges that an assistant superintendent, not a school board member, made a call, though attorneys deny any wrongdoing.
Dinverno’s attorney, Deborah Gordon, said she reached an interim settlement of the lawsuit with school officials. There was no immediate comment from the District on Tuesday.
“They have no business monitoring his speech,” Gordon said in 2021 when the lawsuit was filed.
Rochester School Board member Joe Pittel is proposing an anti-retaliation policy that would prevent district officials from taking action against people who file a “good faith complaint” or question the policies.
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