DAVIS (CBS13) – Some Davis parents are outraged after discovering their signatures were forged on a petition and quotes were fabricated as part of a controversial school program.
Some of these names and comments were up for a month before parents even found out their online signatures had been forged. Now they’re being told by Change.org –- the petition website — even though they didn’t sign it, their names can’t be removed.
“I was totally shocked,” said Meghan Zavod.
The mother’s name appears as one of 384 signatures for a petition supporting the Davis Joint Unified School District’s controversial gifted and talented program.
“You can see the beginning of my quote, which says ‘The GATE system represents everything that’s great about the Davis school system,’ ” said Zavod of the forged comment. “I felt very violated, like my identity was stolen from me.”
Someone forged the names of at least 10 parents to the petition and wrote fake comments.
“My child not in the program is often bored and simply fills in the blanks of boring worksheets. My GATE child is challenged to go deeper, faster and better,” one fake comment read.
“I can’t believe that someone would do that, that they would think, in a small community, that word wouldn’t get out eventually,” said Zavod.
The petition author, a group called Davis Excel, says it has no idea who did it.
“Davis Excel is saddened that an open forum on a website was used to falsely attribute signatures and comments to people in our community. …The falsehood compromised the integrity of what should have been an open and honest effort to give our community members a voice,” a statement read.
The petition is now closed, and Zavod is left wondering “why, you know, and what were you thinking?”
Without a subpoena, parents say Change.org is refusing to provide any details about who posted the names and comments. Some are now considering legal action to find out who was behind this.
Change.org didn’t respond to CBS13’s requests for comment.