Come listen to the story of teacher Molly WrayAccording to a district document, Springboro high school health teacher Molly Wray used contact information improperly obtained from old parent permission slips to send a mass email to Springboro High School graduates last August, encouraging them to vote in the upcoming school board election. She also encouraged the graduates to access her Facebook page, where she posted endorsements for three candidates opposing the conservative candidates.
Springboro Treasurer Terrah Floyd acknowledges that the student information Wray used to send her email was protected under Ohio state law and the federal government’s Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In other words, Wray illegally copied email addresses from confidential district records.
Despite the improper use of protected information for personal and political reasons, the only disciplinary action Springboro school leaders apparently took against Wray was to place a “letter of understanding” in her personnel file that gently reminds the veteran educator to maintain a “professional” relationship with former students.
Wray’s email to students last August mentioned three separate reasons for writing. The first two involved school and alumni news. The third item – which accounted for 50 percent of the email – dealt with a district levy renewal vote and the hotly contested Nov. 5 school board races.
“It is VERY important to vote on November 5th if you are still a Springboro resident,” Wray wrote, according to a copy of the email provided to EAGnews.“YOUR VOTE COUNTS and just may be the difference maker on November 5th.”
The veteran educator then provided graduates with step-by-step instructions for when, where and how they could register to vote in the election. She also encouraged readers to “share this with your Springboro contacts so that (they) see it, use it, and share it too! THANKS!!!”
While Wray stopped short of endorsing any candidates in the August email, she did encourage former students to look her up on Facebook, where she posted two items on the day before the election formally endorsing the three candidates who went on to win their races.
After the results were announced on election night, Wray posted a “thank you” to Springboro voters for electing the three candidates and passing the levy renewal.
District leaders placed a “letter of understanding” in Wray’s personnel file late last month that very gently reminded the veteran educator that district employees are encouraged “to maintain professional relationships with prior students” and “to ensure that the individuals contacted have given permission for you to contact them.”
District officials apparently view the email as a harmless reminder containing a class reunion announcement and a nonpartisan reminder to vote in the November election. They obviously saw no harm or foul when she encouraged the potential voters to refer to her Facebook site for more details – or recommendations.
Who met her students at the door with a smile every day!
Till when one day, the students’ names lost their faces;
‘Cause Molly Wray was secure in high political places,
She collectively gathered her students’ records of ID;
Insanely supporting the political campaign of MSA!
Go Molly! Go Molly! MSA All The Way!