Cobb GOP chair and school board candidate spar over satirical Facebook page

education icon in article about racism resolutionEducation icon from the Noun Project (public domain)

By Rebecca Gaunt

Candidate Catherine Pozniak tweeted Tuesday about a “High Importance” email sent by Cobb County GOP Chair Salleigh Grubbs regarding a satirical Facebook page mocking Cobb school board Post 4 incumbent David Chastain.

The email from Grubbs said:

Dear Dr. Pozniak:

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Please ask your supporters to close their Facebook site known as David Chastain for Seniors. https://www.facebook.com/DavidChastainForCobbCountySeniors

Dr. Pozniak, we hope your supporters are acting independently of your campaign in creating such a vile site. It has long been our belief that Cobb County has uniquely positioned itself as a beacon of integrity and honor for all political candidates. We hope you will agree that this site does not further the cause of any candidate or cause.

Sincerely,

Salleigh Grubbs

According to Pozniak, before she had the opportunity to respond, she received a phone call from someone in the media asking her for comment on a press release Grubbs had put out about Pozniak and the Facebook page. Pozniak said she had not seen the press release.

Pozniak responded in an email:

Chairwoman Grubbs,

I assure you that my campaign has nothing to do with the Facebook page you linked. I am aware that your candidate Mr. Chastain used parent and CCSD staff email addresses to spread lies and disinformation about me, and I read his statement threatening those who support my campaign. I am also aware of your own participation in social media forums that disparaged me as well as those who serve our country in the military. My fellow soldiers are patriots and heroes and deserve respect and honor.

My campaign’s focus remains steady on the brewing literacy crisis when half of Cobb’s third graders cannot read proficiently. I am further concerned about the fact that 50% of Cobb’s students could not pass the Algebra end-of-course exam, dramatically increasing the likelihood that they will not graduate ready for post-secondary success.

I invite Mr. Chastain to join me in a public forum so that Post 4 voters can hear each candidate’s plan to address the issues that affect Cobb’s students, families, educators, and schools.

Sincerely,

Dr. Catherine Pozniak

Pozniak posted both emails on Twitter Tuesday.

In a series of tweets, she wrote, “My opponent’s party is pulling political stunts to distract voters while @CobbSchools students suffer. The R party chair sent a “high importance” email about a FB page I have nothing to do with. Before I could respond, she sent a press release to the media.”

Pozniak continued, “We have much more important things to worry about – like @CobbSchools failing literacy programs and $100 million of federal relief funding the superintendent claims he doesn’t know about. Meanwhile, my opponent renewed the superintendent’s contract to 2025.”

In a third tweet, Pozniak wrote, “And before you create more drama on the public dime, take a moment and reflect on what @AJCGetSchooled had to say about it.”

The tweet included a screenshot of a Facebook post made by education columnist Maureen Downey which said, “You could consider it a mark of notoriety that someone created a parody Facebook page about you or you could call it a sign that you pushed voters over the edge.”

The Chastain satire page has shared posts mocking Chastain for turning off comments on his campaign page, referencing complaints from parents and staff who said they are being “spammed” with campaign material they don’t want, and sharing safety initiatives such as “vigorous corporal punishment for kids of parents we disagree with.”

Facebook shows the page was created Sep. 4. Two more satire pages have since appeared: Chris “Raggedy” Ragsdale – CCSD Overlord, created Oct. 2, and David Banks – CCSD Post 5 Sleep Captain, created Sep. 13.

Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.

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