Corbett Community Forum

Corbett Community Board => Corbett Schools => Topic started by: on May 26, 2017, 07:43:28 AM

Title: Federal Lawsuit Filed against Corbett School District, Randy Trani and others
Post by: on May 26, 2017, 07:43:28 AM
Attached below in blue, is the original public document for this lawsuit (pdf) against the Corbett School District, Randy Trani, and others. Below that pdf is the amended complaint from 7/7/2017

From a Gresham Outlook Article:

"A Corbett mother is suing the Corbett School District, the superintendent and other district employees and volunteers charging they interfered with her parental rights by plotting to adopt her transgender son." She filed the suit in federal District Court for Oregon Tuesday, May 16. She’s alleging her 14th amendment rights to raise her child and freely practice her religion were violated."

Radio interview
Lars Larson and the Attorney in this case. CSD has been contacted but they have made no statements as of today. Link:

Investigation into the Corbett School District
If you feel you have information that can assist the plaintiff you can contact Private Investigator Tammy Rossiter via email here:

Title: Letter to School Board Regarding the current Federal Lawsuit - June 2017
Post by: on June 01, 2017, 12:46:26 PM

Sent to the Corbett School Board on 6/1/2017 by Gary and Victoria Purvine.

June 1, 2017

Board members,

After years of hearing from the Corbett School District personnel that teachers know our children better than we do since they spend more time them (which is incorrect), and having our students be told that what happens in school stays at school and there is no need to involve the parents in what is going on (which is also incorrect), and the recent policy change where all students have to apply to college to able to graduate and if they don't apply then they have to write a plan for their future that would need to be approved as valid by the Superintendent (which should be a family and student decision), it is really no surprise to us that a District teacher apparently feels the next step of actually taking a child because she wants to adopt him would be sanctioned by the current Administration. After all, the District has slowly been eroding parental control and involvement for years.

As parents who have had children go through the Corbett School District it is too easy to see where the often repeated mantra of this Administration's earlier days that "Our teachers are Gods and we will give them what they want" has lead to an entitlement attitude and an apparent sense that these employees will be protected by the Administration regardless of their actions. If those employed by this District feel it is okay to skip proper channels, not follow school policy and ignore laws to get the ends they want, then what is to say other families will not suffer the same fate as the Leontiv family?

Now there is a Federal Lawsuit charged against not only the Superintendent, a Middle School teacher, a bus driver, a grade school employee and other volunteers, but also against the Vice-Chairman of the Corbett School Board. The complaint appears to be well written and factual, and when the charges are substantiated the outcome should be clear: all involved need to removed from District involvement and contact with children.

While some in the community have voiced they feel the lawsuit will impact the children of the district through funding, we have observed and participated in too many board meetings to not believe that the only way to make an impact, or change the direction this district is going, is through punitive damages. When the Superintendent states at a public meeting that the District will do an action until it gets caught, and then the only thing is that we'll lose funding going forward and no one would make "us" pay back the money we'd already gotten, we can only be left with the belief that a "slap on the wrist" isn't going to make a difference. The consequences of an action of this magnitude has to equal the damages caused by the action.

You can't put a family that has been torn apart back together, not like it was before. The simple example of taking a plate, throwing it on the floor to shatter it, and then gluing it back together is a perfect illustration. You may have a plate when you are done gluing, but the cracks show, the small missing parts are gone forever and the shape of the plate is forever changed. It will never be the plate it was before you dashed it to the ground.

From what we have read, it seems there were several Corbett School District hands on the plate when it was thrown.

In light of these allegations, and others in the past, and regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, we are asking that the Board remove the Superintendent for cause at this time. The Court of Public Opinion is one the Superintendent has brought up in the past so we know he is well aware of the impact it can have to lead a school and be considered a leader in the local community. At this time, based on his own admission as stated in the document, he has no control over his staff. We believe that admission alone shows a lack of respect from those mentioned in the suit, a lack of leadership based on moral example, and a lack of integrity when given specific direction by a Law Enforcement Officer to make sure the child was returned to his home.

We are attaching a copy of the American Association of School Administrators Code of Ethics for those of you who haven't seen it, and for those of you who have seen it and could use a reminder. Based on the allegations in this complaint we are left to conclude that the Superintendent has violated Standards 2, 3, 4, 5, 11 and 12, and even if the Federal Court does not rule based on these Standards, we suspect you will find the Public Opinion Court does.

In addition, it is an important matter for all of the taxpayers regarding who pays for the defendants attorneys. If the charges are creditable, and it appears for many reasons they are, then the actions of the individuals should not be covered by the School's umbrella. This would include the Superintendent and the School Board Vice-Chair. We are requesting that Chair Mickalson issue a statement from the Board letting the members of this community know that the District is not condoning the actions taken by those listed as Defendants and will not be providing defense counsel for the Individuals listed in the suit.

Sincerely Gary and Victoria Purvine

* Attached below is the AASA Code of Ethics (blue link/pdf)

Title: Re: Federal Lawsuit Filed against Corbett School District, Randy Trani and others
Post by: on June 10, 2017, 07:43:44 AM
Article in the Outlook/Portland Tribune regarding the above letter/lawsuit


Comment about this article:

Quoting the article: "My personal feeling is that this is a money grab of some sort," said Mershon.

The Corbett School District paid $150,000 (to Mershon) for an empty plot of property adjacent to the school. It is on public record in Dec board minutes. That property is listed at Multnomah County for less than half of that amount ($61,000 market value).

One question is how CSD is able to find money for empty plots of land (like this) when we are (at the same time) being told (for years) we are in budget crisis at CSD. If our buildings are in such a horrible state - wouldn't $150,000 help improve or buy/rent temporary classrooms to take care of the children better?

Title: Another Letter to the School Board - July 2017 School Board meeting
Post by: on July 21, 2017, 05:42:06 PM

The attached (and below) letter was submitted to the Corbett School District by Melanie Aho. It was also read in part at the regular school board meeting in July.

June 19, 2017

Dear Board Members,

My name is Melany Aho. I was raised in Corbett, I graduated from Corbett High School, and I chose to stay and raise my children in this community. I am the lucky parent of 4 amazing children who all attend school here. I have been a licensed elementary school teacher for 20 years and I know first-­‐ hand what an important and challenging job teaching is. I am vested in the success of this school and this community.

I am writing regarding the current litigation our district is facing. I met the mother who is placing the law suit several years ago because our daughters are friends. I’ve completely trusted this mother with the care of my child at birthday parties and playdates. I have come to respect the way she parents and I have witnessed her raising her children with love and wisdom. When I heard about the lawsuit, I spoke with her directly because I wanted to hear her side of the story first hand. I was shocked when I heard through the paper and radio about this lawsuit, but even more so after speaking with the mother and witnessing the pain a broken family brings. The fact her family’s suffering is direct result of actions made by employees of our school district and inaction by our administration is horrible. It is a shame the actions of a few reflect so badly on the many teachers that do a wonderful job every day.

Members of this Board and Administration have stated this family is only suing for the money and that it is a “family issue, not a district issue.” If that is the case:

• Then school staff shouldn’t have taken the action they did or been involved and this wouldn’t have happened at school. The fact that school staff was involved and much of this did happen at school makes this undoubtedly a school issue.

• If it was truly about money, the Family would not have provided the Administration a list of remedies to the situation back in December prior to the law suit.

The Family is suing the District because what was done to them was completely wrong and should never happen to another family in the future. I call their actions showing “conviction” and doing what is right even when others don’t. I would only hope I would have the courage to take the same action if I was in their shoes. It is disturbing to me that this happened months before I heard about it and the teacher involved finished the school year without suspension and is still allowed to teach my children next year. This has caused a lack of trust which is unfair to every district employee who is doing an amazing job. Parents are taking their children out of Corbett as a direct result of the Administration and Board’s inaction. It needs to be rectified immediately and due to the Administration’s inaction it is now the School Board’s responsibility to take action and insure our children’s safety.

My concerns as a parent of 4 students attending CSD:

I am very concerned that some of the teacher(s) and staff who have direct contact with my own children have made such poor choices. My own children have experienced the poor choices of Administration and some teachers at CAPS in the past with inappropriate books, politically charged PG-­‐13 movies when they were in elementary school without my knowledge, and music they were exposed to directly from their teachers (Our children’s 3-­‐5 homeroom teacher was amazing and is no longer an employee of the district) and the staff. After my husband met with the administration and teachers and they defended they their actions, we didn’t trust that any change would occur and our children are no longer attending CAPS. Trust is everything when it comes to our children.

As a result of this pattern of behavior, I can’t help but wonder what some of the Corbett District employees feel they have a right to...

• do to my children? (take them from me without my permission?)

• say to my children? (the last presidential election comes to mind and the inappropriate words and opinions of some teachers)

• share with my children? (Personal details, experiences, or advice to groom them away from how they were raised or their personal beliefs)

• give to my children? (Religious pamphlets? Books written for young adults when they are 11?)

I am very concerned that the Administration has taken no obvious disciplinary action toward the teacher and staff involved with this case. Even worse, providing legal counsel in their defense. I need to know our districts administration is strong enough to stop something from happening that is wrong. I need to know the administration will not look the other way when an employee makes poor choices.

I am concerned the school board has taken no disciplinary action toward the superintendent who made very poor choices regarding the wishes of the family involved with the lawsuit and showed a lack of leadership and sound judgement when he didn’t put his staff that was involved on administrative leave.

As a Teacher:

*If I had concerns about a student’s treatment at home, it is my legal responsibility as a mandatory reporter to report my concerns to Children’s Services ASAP. This is also the responsibility of all district classified staff, coaches, and volunteers of school sponsored clubs to report suspected abuse. (In this case, no reports were submitted until after a teacher hid a student from the parents.)

*I would never meddle with how parents choose to raise their children.

*I would never tell my students any personal, political, social, or religious beliefs. Even worse attempt to persuade them in any of these directions.

*I would never hand a child a suicide hotline card without follow-­‐up by contacting the parents, Children’s Services and/or a counselor to discuss my concerns and ask how I could help the situation.

*I would never aid a student to run away from home. If I did find myself in a situation, I would communicate with parents, school administration and/or police to find a solution. (The teacher involved helped orchestrate the runaway and purposely kept the student from parents and police.)

*I would never disregard my responsibilities as a teacher even if the student was a close friend of my child. A teacher’s responsibilities as a professional must come first.

We all know that actions speak louder than words. We all know that we can get fired from our jobs due to choices we make inside and outside of our workplace. When it comes to our children and those who are in authority over them, trust is everything. Everything. Actions here have caused mistrust.

I am really hoping (expecting) you, our school board members, will take actions that will show you are putting our children and family’s rights first, not a teacher or administrator that have shown very poor judgement. I don’t just want to support this school district, I need to be able to trust and support it, as my children are my priority. As I said, I am vested in the success of this school and I still hope it will be the center of our community one day, not something that divides us. Everything considered, I don’t trust our district can be successful under the current leadership.

Thank you for your time. I trust you to show conviction and do what is right.

Melany Aho

Post by: on October 14, 2018, 05:58:26 AM

UPDATED August 2018:

Judge dismissed the case.
See attached.

See a few notes here as interesting points made on the Corbett Citizens Following CSD:

1) In Fields v. Palmdale School District, the Ninth Circuit held that when parents make the decision to send their children to public schools, their “fundamental right to control the education of their child is, at least, substantially diminished.”
2) Reardon case: The court concluded that the Constitution does not obligate teachers to “meet [a student]’s request for assistance with silence or a cold shoulder”—even when that student may be overreacting to a parent’s reasonable rules. Id.
3) To constitute a Fourteenth Amendment violation, however, the state interference must “shock [] the conscience” or “offend the community’s sense of fair play and decency.” Rochin v. California, 342 U.S. 165, 172-7.....