Greenfield School District, Union President at Odds Over Letter Mixup

President Doug Perry's home address was posted online by the district administration.

Information in a copy of a letter was erroneously posted to the district's web site, sparking another war of words between the Greenfield School District administration and the teacher union. 

The home address of Doug Perry, the president of the teacher's union, was contained in a letter sent to him by board president Bruce Bailey and published on the site Sept. 6.

"I didn't think the district would possibly put my home address in public without my permission. By the way, (this is) a clear violation of the law," Perry said during the  public comment portion of the Sept. 26 Greenfield School Board meeting. "I was dumbfounded." 

Perry has dealing with the state's collective bargaining reform on the local level during the  last seven months, making him a target for those that have been . 

"As president of the (union), I have been sought after several times by the media," he said.

"With these interviews have come many negative comments related to our loss of our collective bargaining. Many in the blogosphere could not resist taking personal potshots at my family and me. Some of these folks are scary."

He said he informed Superintendent Conrad Farner through an email of the violation of the law at about 11:30 a.m. Sept. 8. 

According to Farner, the district pulled the letter off the web site at 12:50 p.m. after learning of the oversight from Val Gabriel, a Wisconsin Education Association Council official. 

"We blacked out the address and reposted about a half-hour later," Farner said in an email to Greenfield Patch on Sept. 27. 

"My memory is I opened that email at around 12:45 and had the issue resolved by 12:50. I never heard another word about this until the meeting (Sept. 26)," Farner added. 

Farner further explained he did not have a conversation with either Perry or Gabriel, but followed up in an email to both of them.

"There was no reason to speak to anyone about this as I immediately addressed the concern," Farner said. According to Perry, however, the address was not redacted from the letter posted online until about 5 p.m. that evening. 

"It is difficult for me to believe that our administrative team was unaware of these statutes protecting employee privacy," Perry said. "My family hopes and prays that this posting was not political pay back for the ."

At the August school board meeting, dozens of loud protesters disrupted the proceedings, causing the police to be called.

Farner said the motivation behind posting the letter was to further inform the public regarding Perry's request this summer when it comes to work-related issues such as the creation of an employee handbook and the work calendar. Bailey addressed his request and concerns in the posted letter. 

"To characterize the accidental posting of Doug's address on our district web page as politically motivated is about as far from the truth as is possible," Farner said. "There is nothing to gain 'politically' by putting his already public address on our website."

Farner noted Perry gives his address out when he speaks at board meetings.

"Regardless, his address is easily accessible in the White Pages," Farner said. "Anyone who wants his address can find it easily and quickly.  Few would argue that a link on the district website is where someone would go to get a staff member's address."  

Farner took responsibility for the oversight, saying that it is the district's policy to post "very limited information about staff."

"Posting the letter with his address was an oversight on my part," he said. "I simply did not think of the fact that  his address was included. My goal was to get accurate information out. I immediately took responsibility and apologized for the mistake." 

According to Perry, he has not received an apology from school administrators. Farner, however, indicated that he apologized for the oversight in the follow up email he sent to the Gabriel and Perry.

robert heule October 03, 2011 at 12:38 PM
No law or policy can stop a citizen(local resident or not) from exercising his or her constitutional right to communicate with an elected official.
The Big Cat October 03, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Talk about a unionista crybaby. You give your address out everytime you speak at a school board meeting. It is found in countless places. This guy abviously has loads of time on his hands to gripe and moan about anything and everything. He is so fortunate to be a teacher. If he were in the private sector, he'd be canned in a New York minute.
S-Dog October 04, 2011 at 06:38 PM
Mr. Perry probably thinks it is OK to protest at the Walker home in Wauwatosa, even if Scott isn't there. But it's different if it is him. A bit of a double standard, but we are getting used to double standards when dealing with the Doug Perry's of the world.
Ben Hogan October 04, 2011 at 09:16 PM
When Mr. Perry addressed the school board to complain about his address being published, He stood up announced his name and address ( as required before speaking at the school board meeting) before even speaking. His address would have been heard by anyone at the meeting or at home watching. Sounds to me like this is much to do about nothing.


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