Michigan Superintendent Raked In Nearly $700,000 In Salary, Benefits As He Monitored Parents’ Social Media


Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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The Superintendent of a Michigan public school district cost taxpayers over $700,000 in salary and benefits amid calls for his resignation after he admitted to spying on parents’ social media accounts, a records review by the Daily Caller uncovered.

Rochester Community Schools Superintendent Robert Shaner admitted to monitoring social media posts made by parents and contacting at least two employers and one police department over parents’ posts, according to a Feb. 15 deposition reported by the Detroit News. Parents are calling for his resignation amid the spying allegations, according to Fox News.

“Yeah, we value the input of all parents, and we certainly want to keep our thumb on the pulse of the community, so we monitor social media very closely on all fronts and make sure we’re responsive to the community,” Shaner said. (RELATED: Fairfax County Public Schools Proposes Contract For ‘Social Media Management Services’ To Monitor ‘Harassment, Hate Speech’)

Shaner raked in $293,492 in salary, according to Michigan’s Government Salary Database, and cost the district an additional $437,409 in benefits, according to Rochester Community Schools. His taxpayer-funded salary outpaces superintendents in neighboring areas that serve a more populous student body.

Rochester Community Schools serves approximately 15,000 students, according to US News. Per Michigan’s Government Salary Database, the superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools, which serves more than 18,000 students and is located in one of the state’s wealthier cities, makes nearly $40,000 less than Shaner does.

Shaner drew the ire of community members after parent Elena Dinverno filed a lawsuit against him. The lawsuit alleges that Shaner curbed Dinverno’s right to free speech after she started two Facebook groups “RCS Parents for In-Person Education” and “Conservative Parents for Rochester,” according to Fox News. Both pages advocated for in-person learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dinverno sued Shaner in May 2021 alleging that she lost her job at Blake’s Hard Cider in Dec. 2020 after Board of Education President Kristin Bull inaccurately told her employer that she participated in a group threatening the school district.

Rochester Community Schools told the Daily Caller that, per the district’s settlement with Dinverno, they could not discuss the litigation.