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School administrators settle lawsuit over snooping on parents’ critical social media

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Posted at 3:44 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 18:13:23-05

ROCHESTER, Mich. (WXYZ) — She’s a mom who was critical of Rochester Schools' COVID policies. She posted on social media including a private parents Facebook group.

School administrators called her boss and claimed she was “alarming, threatening and posed a danger” to the district and students.

Now Elena Dinverno is settling her lawsuit with the school district over a violation of her First Amendment rights. 7 Action News has found she’s not alone.

“This program was bigger than just what's being reported. They definitely were going after more people it was not when they couldn't go through employers. It went to the police trying to influence people,” says Andrew Weaver.

He provided us a police report made against him by administrators with copies of his social media and claimed he didn’t wear a mask during a school board meeting last May.

“The police report absolutely was done to try to intimidate me to bully me," he says. "And again, it didn't work but that's the point like that's our tactics.”

The lawsuit filed by Elena Dinverno claims she was targeted because she was on Facebook asking for videos from parents and students about their experiences with remote learning. The lawsuit claims the Assistant Superintendent called her employer, Blakes Hard Cider, and falsely claimed she was a threat.

The lawsuit is being settled with the terms not being disclosed.

Andrew Weaver says all of this has led to distrust of school board members who let it happen and the Superintendent, “He was in a role that he clearly abused the power that he had. And the board of education just absolutely neglected their responsibility. There needs to be an independent investigation to find out how deep this program was, who all was involved, they do need to be that you need to be held accountable. They need to be terminated. And every one of our board members do need to resign.”

Rochester Schools released this statement to 7 Action News:

The parties in the Dinverno litigation mutually agreed to resolve the matter. As part of the settlement, the parties agreed that the only public comment they would make is that they agreed to settle their differences; consequently, we are not able to discuss it.

Rochester Community Schools values the input of its community members. As a responsible and respectful listener, we pay attention to newspaper, radio, TV news and social media to make sure we are responsive to the community.

Rochester Community Schools’ focus continues to be on the education, growth, safety, and wellness of our students, staff and school community.

Elena Dinverno Amended Lawsuit vs. Rochester Community Schools Et Al by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd