Arizona parents who fought school board president make pick for governor's race

Arizona school board president forced to step down for targeting parents

Arizona GOP Senate candidate Jim Lamon in Arizona responds to a Scottsdale school board member being removed over alleged ties to a dossier on parents.

FIRST ON FOX: Five moms whose personal information appeared in a Google Drive to which the president of Scottsdale Unified School District school board had access say they’re endorsing Republican Kari Lake in Arizona’s 2022 gubernatorial election.

“In August, the Scottsdale School Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg sent an unsolicited email to two parents, including a screenshot of his desktop that included a link to a Google Drive that was dedicated to collecting information about my peers and fellow parents,” Amanda Wray, a mother of two kids in the district, says in a Lake campaign video first released to Fox News.

“To see my name in the dossier was a complete violation,” Trish Olson, a mother of three in the district, says in the video. “It felt like I had been targeted for advocating for not only my kids but for the kids of this district. … To have somebody like Kari standing up with us, it helps us keep the pressure on the district.”

“I support Kari Lake because I admire her chutzpah,” Jennifer DeStefano, a mother of four, says in the video.

“I support Kari Lake because she’s a mom and she’s an advocate for all kids in Arizona,” Valerie Shannon, a mother of three, adds.

“I support Kari Lake because she is a fellow mama bear,” Kiki Dupey, a mother of two in the district, says. “She is behind us 100% and she makes it easier for all of us to speak out and be loud.”

Greenburg has been demoted since the Google Drive, which many have characterized as a “dossier” on parents, was revealed in November. The dossier included information on 47 parents who dared to speak out against Greenburg’s policies at school board meetings, and it included Social Security numbers, background checks, a divorce paper, mortgage documents, trade certifications, and screenshots of Facebook posts. 

While Greenburg remains on the school board, he is no longer the president.

Lake reached out

Wray told Fox News that Lake was the only gubernatorial candidate to reach out to her on the pivotal issue. She said Lake spoke at a rally before the school board, forcing local stations to cover the rally when they likely would not have done so.

Parents protest at a Scottsdale school board meeting, left. Scottsdale school board member Jann-Michael Greenburg (inset) is no longer president of the panel.
(Amy Carney/Scottsdale Unified School District)

“She’s helping us as parents find a voice when we have not been able to find one,” Wray said. “Teachers have a union, but parents don’t have a union. Kari has shown us that she’s not a politician. She cares about our education system and doing right for the children of Arizona.”

“Teachers have a union, but parents don’t have a union. Kari has shown us that she’s not a politician. She cares about our education system and doing right for the children of Arizona.”

Arizona state Rep. Joseph Chaplik also said that, of the gubernatorial candidates, only Lake had spoken with the parents of Scottsdale Unified in person. 

Crowded GOP primary field

Lake, a former KSAZ-TV news anchor who received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, is running in a crowded Republican primary. Gov. Doug Ducey, R-Ariz., is not eligible to run for a third consecutive term, and many Republicans have jumped into the race. 

“As Governor, I will stand shoulder to shoulder with my fellow parents to protect our kids.”

Kari Lake is running for governor in Arizona. (Kari Lake for Governor)

Other Republican candidates also condemned Greenburg’s dossier in comments to Fox News.

“There’s no excuse for a school board member to ever be in possession of a dossier on parents,” Karrin Taylor Robson, a member of the Arizona Board of Regents who has been endorsed by former governors Fife Symington and Jan Brewer, told Fox News. “I wholeheartedly support these parents, along with moms and dads across Arizona fighting to shine a light on what’s going on in their schools.”

“It’s outrageous that their efforts have too often been met with stonewalling and outright hostility on the part of school administrators and educrats,” Robson added. She pledged to support school choice if elected.

Kari Lake video screenshot of moms of Scottsdale Unified School District.
(Kari Lake for Governor)

“I’ve been driving the conversation in Arizona to hold liberal school boards accountable, and I’m proud to support the parents in Scottsdale who stood up for their kids,” Matt Salmon, a former congressman and current vice president of government affairs at Arizona State University who has been endorsed by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., told Fox News. “I attended the SUSD meeting to call for the firing of Jann-Michael Greenburg, and while I am pleased to see his title of ‘board president’ revoked, I won’t be satisfied until he is gone for good and parents get the answers they deserve.”

“One of my biggest priorities as Arizona’s next governor is protecting parents’ rights and expanding school choice so that bullies like this no longer have a stranglehold on our schools,” Salmon added.

Parents protest at a Scottsdale, Arizona, school board meeting. 
(Amy Carney)

“Treasurer Kimberly Yee has a record of fighting for education and parental rights during her time in the Arizona State Legislature,” Yee campaign spokesman Brandon Hiller told Fox News. “She’s a mother and proud parent of young children who has been protecting parental rights and school choice for years.” He noted that Yee called on Greenburg to resign when the news came out. She also urged the governor to call a sepcial session “to ban mask mandates in schools and ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory.”

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and state Rep. Aaron Lieberman, two leading Democratic candidates for governor, did not respond to Fox News’ requests for comment by press time.

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