Watch CBS News

Once-Sedate Fox Chapel School District Remains Hotbed of Controversy

FOX CHAPEL (KDKA) -- The once-sedate Fox Chapel School District boiled over last fall when Superintendent Gene Freeman was accused of pressuring staff to shred supposedly incriminating documents.

At an October school board meeting, he lashed out at his critics.

"You have now specifically put out that I have pressured people to shed. You infringed upon my due process. I don't think this has ended," Freeman said.

True to his prediction, the outgoing superintendent remains a lightning rod for critics -- who now question his three-month absence from the district as he prepares to take a new job in North Carolina.

And even though his seat at board meetings has been empty since November, his attorney has now sent cease and desist letters to a half dozen parents who have criticized him on social media.

"Today, I received via certified mail, a a cease and desist which accuses me of being in engaged in an effort to sabatoge Mr. Freeman's future employment," Elizabeth Rambeau told the board this week.

In their posts, the parents have been critical of a $180,000 severance that Freeman will receive under his contract.

In addition, the news site Public Source has reported that Freeman also stands to reap another $108,000 in unused vacation days.

"In an attempt to harass and intimidated from comment on school district matters, and I do feel intimidated," Rambeau said.

The district gives no reason for his absence,only saying that Freeman remains superintendent and is on leave in accordance with his contract.

In her letter, his attorney touts Freeman's success in lifting Fox Chapel academically from 13th to the 4th highest-rated school district in the state, telling the parents the following:

"Your efforts to distort the truth in this regard are actionable and reflect poorly on you and others involved who hold a personal grudge against Dr. Freeman and his success."




View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.