Unrepentant School Board President Ousted Over Dossier on Opponents
During an emergency session on Monday evening the Scottsdale (Arizona) Unified School District’s governing board demanded that its president, Jann-Michael Greenburg, resign. When he refused, the board replaced him with another board member by a vote of 4-1. Greenburg’s was the only dissenting vote.
Accused of having access to a Google drive on his computer that the Scottsdale Independent (IN) called “The Greenburg Files” containing 160 pages of private background information on some 47 parents, Greenburg tried to distance himself from the impending vote by opening the meeting:
I am reassured [that] the Scottsdale Police Department is investigating this matter.
There appear to be bad actors involved and I am confident our law enforcement will quickly resolve these issues.
I strongly support the investigations that have been announced both publicly and privately, and I hope that, at the conclusion of those investigations, we will have all the facts so that we can make a decision that is in the best interest of our district on this matter.
His denial of any wrongdoing fell on deaf ears. Not only did the board vote to replace him with another board member to complete the balance of his term, the board also demanded his resignation. They also demanded the resignation of the school’s superintendent and two other board members who were alleged to have known about the Google drive but did nothing about it until a parent discovered and exposed it. They all refused to resign.
Following the meeting, school superintendent Scott Menzel also tried to distance himself from the inflammatory Google drive:
The focus of the Governing Board should remain solely on improving educational opportunities for each and every one of our District’s 22,000 students. The decision this evening ensures that with new leadership this will be the top priority….
The existence of these files is disturbing and unacceptable. The Board, in fulfilling its duty, has the obligation to be honest, fair, caring, and respectful.
Further, it must avoid conduct that creates the appearance of impropriety of conduct unbefitting a public official.
More than 100 parents attended the emergency meeting, most of whom likely were among the more than 1,500 parents who signed a petition demanding that Greenburg resign.
The petition concluded:
His [Jann-Michael’s] actions have made it unequivocally clear that he is unfit for public office.… We stand together in requesting the immediate termination of Jann-Michael Greenburg as SUSD Governing Board President, and we further demand his resignation as an SUSD Governing Board Member.
They got half of their wish on Monday night: Greenburg is no longer president, but remains on the board. The police are continuing their investigation into the matter. And Greenburg is likely, when all is said and done, to face legal sanctions. An attorney following the matter said that the former school board president likely violated numerous laws, including Arizona’s Parents’ Bill of Rights and other state and federal laws “prohibiting both intimidation generally and voter intimidation in particular.”
Amy Carney, a mother of six and a candidate for the governing board, said the file was retaliation over her objection to the board’s policies concerning masking and the teaching of Critical Race Theory:
I’d call this retaliation.… The list of parents targeted in the drive appears to be anyone who has spoken out about anything against our district, publicly or online.
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Published at Wed, 17 Nov 2021 21:49:33 +0000