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A private school in Ohio has been accused of alerting the FBI and local police on two mothers — whose kids were expelled from the academy — after they exposed Critical Race Theory curriculum teachings and financial mismanagement, according to a complaint.
Amy Gonzalez and Andrea Gross filed a complaint against Columbus Academy — just outside Columbus, Ohio — and the school’s headmaster Melissa Soderberg on June 12 for alleged intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, and violation of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act.
“This lawsuit is a result of two years of concerted work to protect our children against the conspiracy concocted by CA and some of their members,” Gonzalez said in a news release. “Expelling our innocent children is retaliatory in nature and in effort to indirectly squelch our efforts in uncovering these financial wrongdoings.”
According to the complaint, the exclusive academy expelled Gonzalez and Gross’s children — both in 6th grade at the time — without prior warning or discussion in 2021 and further launched a bullying campaign against the families by reporting them as “potential threats” and portraying them as “violent and racists” to local and federal authorities.
The academy, which teaches students grades K-12, is a private school that was founded 112 years ago and is one of the state’s most prestigious learning institutions.
During the pandemic, the mothers noticed irregularities in how the school allegedly handled its finances, including allegedly segregating money available to certain minority groups while certain establishment members wrongfully benefitted from their association with the school.
The complaint also alleges some students were intimidated and bullied based on their political beliefs, citing one teacher from the academy who allegedly told his students he would not communicate with anyone who supported former President Donald Trump.
“Politically charged issues were regularly taught and discussed in the classroom without opposing viewpoints presented,” the complaint said.
The mothers told Fox News their requests for transparency over the school’s curriculum and fiduciary compliance were met with an “overreaction” from the academy.
“And so when I say an overreaction, I mean an overreaction of calling the police on us, alerting almost 900 faculty members that they had alerted the FBI that we were dangerous,” Gross said. “Just things that were so far beyond the pale that it would lead one to ask why? Why is the reaction so extreme?”
Gonzalez told the outlet the school’s response was “predatory alienation.”
“I believe that whenever they weaponize a federal agency in order to intimidate us and to promulgate fear in the faculty, they never told the entire community as far as parents that they had alerted the FBI,” she said. “But they told the teachers that. So, you know, teachers walked out of that meeting, like, are we supposed to be afraid or what exactly does this mean?”
Gross added the academy’s campaign against her family caused the community to turn against them and forced her daughter to enroll in another school outside the state.
“Upon information and belief, the Academy’s vicious treatment of the Parent Plaintiffs, and by relation, their children, including improperly invoking governmental investigative agencies, disseminating false information, and engaging in a coordinated effort to destroy their reputations in the community, was retaliation to prevent any further inquiry financial wrongdoing of the Academy,” the complaint said.
The complaint stated, “the Academy’s head of Security … filed a false police report against the Parent Plaintiffs with the Gahanna Police Department.”
“During the meeting when faculty was told the FBI had been alerted, the environment was such that one of the Academy’s faculty members raised his/her hand and asked if the Child Plaintiffs should be treated differently. Another member of faculty stated, ‘it sounds like we have a mole,'” the complaint said.
“The actions of the Academy and those of its affiliates, as directed by the Academy, had an extreme impact on the wellbeing of Plaintiffs. The Academy falsely accused the Parent Plaintiffs of being dangerous to the health and wellbeing of the entire Academy community and destroyed their reputations with many of the people they had spent years working and learning with,” the complaint continued.
Columbus Academy categorically denied all allegations in a statement to Fox News Digital, saying, “These allegations are entirely without any legal merit or factual basis whatsoever.”
An earlier statement sent to the outlet said: “[A]ny parent who waged a public campaign of false and misleading statements and inflammatory attacks harmful to the employees, the reputation, or the financial stability of Columbus Academy would be in clear violation of the Enrollment Agreement and would be denied re-enrollment for the following school year.”