(The News-Press) - Charter Schools USA is threatening legal action against parents who use an Internet discussion board to air grievances about Gateway Charter. Parent Angela Reigelman, who created the virtual forum, received a letter via FedEx on Thursday ordering her to remove the forum. The company also warned other Web contributors.
Postings on the forum address topics ranging from academics and school events to complaints about school leadership and rumor control. Reigelman says the Web forum gives parents an open venue to discuss educational issues. The company's demand to close the forum does raise free-speech issues.
'Any action by school officials to remove it raises serious First Amendment concerns,' said Robert Corn-Revere, a Washington D.C.-based attorney who specializes in Internet-related free-speech issues. 'No one likes to be criticized, but that doesn't make it libelous.'