FBI investigates Loyd Star school recordings

Published 10:04 am Friday, November 3, 2017

By Donna Campbell
The Daily Leader

An FBI investigation into potentially illegal audio recordings made in the Loyd Star principal’s office remains open, Lincoln County School Superintendent Mickey Myers said.

Loyd Star teacher Sherry Davis said she was interviewed March 30 by two individuals on the school campus who represented themselves as FBI agents. A nearly one-hour audio recording of that conversation was made public Oct. 27 on a Facebook page called “Lincoln County School District Whistleblower,” under the heading “FBI agents terrorize Loyd Star.”

Email newsletter signup

Myers confirmed that the FBI questioned at least one teacher at Loyd Star, but did not name Davis.

“The FBI spoke briefly with me at the (district) office,” he said.

FBI spokesman Brett Carr said the federal agency cannot confirm or deny involvement in an investigation in Lincoln County.

Myers said he did not know if there have been instances of FBI questioning of school employees since that time.

“I contact them (the FBI) every month to six weeks,” he said. “They say there’s nothing they can share with me at this time, but the investigation is ongoing.”

The FBI involvement in Lincoln County appears to center on the recording of private conversations in Loyd Star Principal Robin Case’s office that were made public through social media earlier this year.

The audio recordings were posted on a Facebook page called “Restore Humanity, Ethics and Peace at Loyd Star,” which was created Feb. 17 by Melissa Posey. The recordings are allegedly private conversations between Case and various employees and are in reference to school business and specific students.

Posey said in a post on that page that the audio was “obtained legally and without prejudice.”

She brought the recordings to the attention of the Lincoln County School Board at a public meeting Feb. 21.

Posey said at a board meeting April 3 that charges have been filed against her with the FBI.

“To the person that filed charges against me with the federal government for the tapes, that I am totally responsible for, I want to thank them, whoever they are,” she said. “Because now, it’s out of Lincoln County and with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of what’s going on in this district. Not only will it help this district, it will help the state. So to that person, I thank you. You can’t beat me, because I have the armor. You cannot get through my armor.”

Posey said after the school board meeting that she and her attorney met with two FBI agents for three hours at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

Posey said she asked the FBI agents if she was going to be arrested, but was told they were on a “fact finding mission.”

“They were concerned with who taped it. They don’t believe I did it,” she told The Daily Leader. “They’re trying to put the blame on someone at the school.”

She said she decided to record conversations with Case and others so she’d have proof to back up her claims that the special needs programs at the schools, specifically Loyd Star, need to be investigated and improved.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said a complaint was filed about the office recordings by the school district. After discussing it with the Attorney General’s office, it was decided it would be a federal matter.

Davis told The Daily Leader Thursday that she asked the agents for permission to record the interview that was held in an office attached to the school library.

“I did that to protect myself,” she said.

Though she said other people have a copy of the audio, she doesn’t know who uploaded the edited recording to the Whistleblower Facebook page.

“I don’t know how they got it,” she said.

Davis said she was alerted to the FBI’s visit to the campus by the librarian. Davis teaches graphic design, personal finance and business law and is the yearbook sponsor. She was in fifth period when she was summonsed to meet the agents.

Davis said she was not the only teacher who was interviewed around that time. She said an administrator, secretary and custodian employed at Loyd Star were all questioned at different times and locations.

“It was an intimidation tactic,” she said. “It doesn’t work with me. I’ve been doing this (teaching) for 20 years.”

She said she feels she was targeted because the agents already knew so much about her.

“The people who interviewed me or interrogated me were already told what they needed to be asking,” she said.

According to the Digital Media Law Project, federal law permits recording telephone calls and in-person conversations with the consent of at least one of the parties. Under a one-party consent law, an individual can record a phone call or conversation so long as the individual is a party to the conversation. Federal laws would be broken if a party recorded conversations without being in the room and without consent of the other party.