Local school district officials sued amid social media scandal

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on June 5, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 6 at 2:37 PM

(KMOV.com) – A libel lawsuit has been filed against the Fox C-6 school district officials after several employees allegedly made disparaging comments about parents online.

The district announced it had placed four employees on administrative leave Wednesday.

Two parents told News 4 they were defamed on Topix.com after they posted comments critical of some of the district’s policies.

"It was said that I molested children, that I was a pedophile," said former district employee Sam Ferry. 

Parent Michelle Tyler said she was also accused of beastiality, among other things.

Attorney Dan Herman said he began to investigate and determined district employees were behind the inappropriate posts. Herman said he traced a majority of comments back to the home of superintendent Dianne Critchlow.

“I’m kind of disgusted with the superintendent’s behavior and hoping they resolve this issue soon,” parent Amanda Stevens said.

Other comments were allegedly traced back to two district administrators and a former principal. The school board on Wednesday held a closed-door meeting, naming assistant superintendent Tim Crutchly interim superintendent.

“Four employees of the school district have been put on administrative leave with pay pending further investigation,” district school board president John Laughlin said.

It was not known if Dianne Critchlow was among those on leave. News 4 has confirmed her husband, district administrator Jamie Critchlow, is one of the four employees.

The district said it will identify the other three soon.

All of the employees will be paid while they are on leave. One parent said she would rather see that money spent elsewhere.

“What’s not getting the funding it needs is my children’s school. The elementary school lost staff members at the end of this year,” Nikki McClain said.

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