Wake Schools parent sued after criticizing math curriculum

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A parent whose child goes to a high school in the Wake County Public School System has been sued after criticizing the math curriculum used in the district.

Utah-based "Mathematics Vision Project" or "MVP," filed a lawsuit against Blain Dillard, whose son attends Green Hope High in Cary.

Dillard has been vocal about his opposition to the MVP curriculum, which is student-driven and focuses on group work, posting on his website, blog and social media.

The lawsuit obtained by ABC11 said, "In or around March 2019, Dillard commenced a crusade against MVP, claiming that MVP is ineffective and has harmed many students."

It alleges that some of Dillard's statements were false and defamatory and harmed the company financially.

Sandy Joiner, whose child attends Green Hope, started a GoFundMe page to help Dillard with legal fees. They raised nearly $2,000 by Tuesday evening.

"He was trying to find a lawyer," Joiner said. "We just wanted to have money there for him to help him out and support."

Other parents have expressed concerns about the curriculum and say the lawsuit against Dillard has bigger implications.

"Parents need to be very concerned," said Karen Carter. "I mean if this is all we're going to be doing now is start suing district parents? I thought we had the right to free speech in this country. That's another thing being attacked right now and trying to scare parents into silence."

"It's very disheartening because he is just advocating for his son," Joiner said. "He just cares about his son getting a solid math foundation and he wasn't getting it with MVP so he decided to advocate for him. That's kind of scary that this would happen."

The lawsuit said, "At a WCPSS board meeting on April 23, 2019, Dillard stated that MVP's success data has been proven to have been exaggerated or in some cases possibly even fabricated."

Joiner is coming to Dillard's defense.

"I don't know of any (data) that he exaggerated or falsified," Joiner said. "Everything that he did, he tried to get the correct numbers from the state and tried to get any correct numbers that he posted or anything."

Dillard declined to talk on camera, citing the litigation, but sent a statement:

"I am a parent in Wake County, NC, which includes Raleigh. We are home to the Wake County Public School System, one of the 15 largest in the US.

This past weekend I was served a summons written by Strong & Hanni, PC, of Salt Lake City, UT, for a complaint against me from Mathematics Vision Project, LLC (MVP), of Lehi, UT. The complaint alleges "libel and slander" and "tortious interference with business relations" related to about statements I've made about MVP either on Facebook, my blog, or at our county school board meetings. I am innocent of all allegations and can defend each and every point made in the summons.

This is an attempt at intimidation and bullying to silence my and other parents' free speech advocating for our children's education..."

Sixteen Wake County families filed a formal complaint against the MVP materials with Wake County, Joiner said. Tuesday, they'll be at the school board meeting to speak out.

A district spokeswoman said Tuesday that the district has no plans to discontinue use of the curriculum.

ABC11 reached out to MVP and the firm that filed the lawsuit, requesting a statement.
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