ARNOLD, Mo. - The words on a public forum called Topix by anonymous posters sent a river of humiliation through three parents in the Fox C-6 school district in Arnold.
"I work with children, somebody accused me of touching them in a sexual manner are you kidding me? There is nothing more horrendous than that," said Sam Perry, a former custodian in the district.
"They would make these comments that I was having sex with animals," said Rich Simpson.
"They were saying I could win a bull dyke contest," said Michelle Tyler.
The parents worried the words would affect their jobs, their reputations, and their lives. Perry said he couldn't remember not crying for months. Simpson said he lost a lot of sleep. And Tyler said she was never more embarrassed and humiliated.
The attacks came because they criticized the school district on its policies. The last straw came when the district sent the parents a letter telling them to stop their criticisms. The parents hired a lawyer to go after the posters for libel.
"The First Amendment gives us the right to criticize the government," said lawyer Dan Herman.
He subpoenaed Topix for the IP addresses of the posters. Then he filed court orders to compel AT&T and Charter to give him the subscribers attached to those IP addresses. And what he found shocked him. He said the information lead him to high ranking administrators in the district.
"This is a person running our district and taking care of our kids and she's saying horrible, horrible things about parents," said Tyler.
NewsChannel 5 isn't naming the administrators until Herman names them in his lawsuit.
"Public officials can't use their position and public money to maliciously attack people," said Herman.
NewsChannel 5 learned the school board got a 24 hour notice to meet about personnel issues. School Board President John Laughlin told us after the 2.5 hour meeting, he couldn't talk about the personnel issue. He couldn't tell us if the board called the meeting to discuss the high-ranking administrators.
"They should be fired" said Perry.
5 On Your Side learned the administrators parents are accusing of cyber bullying them passed an anti-bullying policy at Fox C-6 last year.