FILE - Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, Ariz., viewed from above.

(The Center Square) – Arizona school district officials are accused of taking some controversial steps to keep tabs, even intimidate, parents unhappy with COVID-19 mandates.

Scottsdale Unified School District, one of the state’s largest, sent a letter Wednesday to parents, assuring them private student data is not accessible by its school board members.

“We want to assure you in no uncertain terms that personal student information and educational records are private and protected in district-maintained, secure information systems to which neither Board members nor the public have access,” the letter read. “Any student information the Board may receive is in relation to discipline cases under its consideration, and that information is provided to the Board by the district’s legal counsel.”

The memo stems from an uproar over SUSD Board Chair Jann-Michael Greenburg’s father being implicated in compiling an extensive online database containing information on his son’s political enemies, namely parents who had been showing up at board meetings and protesting the district’s COVID-19 measures.

The story was originally reported in the Scottsdale Independent. 

The database, which has been removed from the public eye, contained pictures of parents, some of their children, copies of parents’ professional certifications, mortgage information and other private data. 

State officials from the Scottsdale community have since joined parents in petitioning for Greenburg’s removal from the board, though it’s unclear he was involved with curating the information.

“As a Scottsdale parent and member of the community, I am calling for the resignation of Jann-Michael Greenburg,” said state Rep. Joseph Chaplik, R-Scottsdale. “The evidence of his cyberstalking and spreading of an enemies list should be the last straw for his fellow board members, and I expect them to join me in this call.” 

State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, a Scottsdale Republican who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, said she signed onto a letter from SUSD parents demanding Greenburg step down.

“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,” the letter read.

In the letter to parents, SUSD said there was nothing the district could do to remove an elected board member. 

SUSD isn’t the only district with board members accused of taking controversial steps to keep tabs on protesting parents. 

Emails obtained by activist Peggy McClain show members of Chandler Unified School District’s board and district officials working with a school resource officer and sergeant with the Chandler Police Department to monitor social media posts from parents involved in groups that have protested district meetings. The emails were sent in May, according to copies McClain posted online.

Managing Editor

Cole Lauterbach is a managing editor for The Center Square covering the western United States. For more than a decade, Cole has produced award-winning content on both radio and television.