CHEBOYGAN- Erin Chaskey, whose son is a student of Onaway Area Community School District (OACSD), is suing the school district, the superintendent, a school board member, and the Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Office (PICSO) for enforcing a no trespass order, which restricts her from school grounds, and for having her phone unlawfully taken by the Sheriff's Office without probable cause.
The following is a summary of the complaint, filed by attorney Daren A. Wiseley of Wiseley Law, PLLC:
The issues with the OACSD started over a year ago, when Chaskey had heard rumors of inappropriate and unprofessional conduct by at least one teacher at Onaway High School. The complaint refers to Kymberli Wregglesworth, a teacher for Onaway High, who had made extremely inappropriate comments to students, such as “your white privilege is showing”. Also referring to voting for certain political candidates, comparing to “like voting for Hitler”, and even bullying an autistic student in front of the classroom.
Furthermore, Wregglesworth had been teaching “Critical Race Theory” (CRT) in the classroom, praising former Communist leader Che Guevara, and overall behaving in a very biased manner.
Due to these concerns, Chaskey emailed the Superintendent Rod Fullerton, asking to meet and discuss these issues of curriculum as early as March 17, 2021. After waiting nearly two months since her initial email detailing her concerns, she finally gets a reply that he (Superintendent Rod Fullerton)
“...just don’t have it as of yet.”
As a result, Chaskey sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to Superintendent Rod Fullerton demanding the emails between Fullerton, Wregglesworth, and other school board members in August.
Notably, in the response, no emails from Wregglesworth were provided, and certain emails were apparently omitted. When Chaskey contacted Fullerton, addressing the fact that it was obvious that certain emails were missing, he responded that he “neglected to include the email to Mrs. Wregglesworth requesting information for this FOIA request."
As a result, Chaskey decided to speak out about these issues at the Onaway Area school board meetings. Other parents start to confide in Chaskey as they were afraid of retaliation from the school board. Due to receiving the same results after speaking out at the school board meetings, Chaskey decided to seek a position with the school board and arrived at the school to pick up an application around October 14, 2021.
As she walks into the school foyer, she overhears a conversation between the Superintendent Fullerton and school board member, Michael Benson, admitting to using other channels of communicating outside of the school email, specifically to avoid their correspondence being subjected to FOIA requests. The two also discussed how Chaskey was “furthering her agenda,” and “must get her information from TikTok.” The pair also discussed their wives stalking Chaskey's Facebook posts, along with a slew of other derogatory remarks towards Chaskey.
This conversation was captured by Chaskey on her cell phone, while standing in plain view of the public, in the foyer as Fullerton and Benson were talking in a classroom down the hall with the door wide open. Shortly after, the principal approaches her in the hallway in which Chaskey mentioned that she was "listening to an interesting conversation."
Superintendent Fullerton gets wind of this and approaches Chaskey asking, "What can I do for you?" Chaskey indicated that she was there to pick up an application for the school board position and that she heard the conversation and it “shows who you all are.” Fullerton replied to Chaskey by stating that “all the info was available online,” regarding the application. She then left the premises without further incident.
About a week later, Chaskey was served a search warrant by Deputy David Schmoldt of PICSO. The warrant was for Chaskey's cellphone, dated October 20, 2021. The alleged "fact" or probable cause was:
- She (Chaskey) is observed on video footage making a video recording of a private conversation that is occurring out of view of the video camera system and in an area that Chaskey should not be as a private citizen
So not only was Chaskey's cell phone seized, but several days later received correspondence from Fullerton stating she was issued a “No Trespass," which restricts her from attending school board meetings and is no longer able to drop off or pick up her son from school. No hearing or due process was allowed for Chaskey to contest the allegations.
Officials at the school continue to defame Chaskey for spreading false rumors of her “spying” and engaging in criminal activity, and other false statements.
Chaskey has also been approached by individuals who have asked her “why the school has a restraining order” on her. Chaskey is humiliated and embarrassed by this and fears this will make a negative impact on her son at school.