Parent Security receives hundreds of letters weekly from parents all over the world, seeking help and advice. Some parents want to spy on their children and some want to share their story about their child’s experience with cyber bullying. For years, our founder Gregory Evans has spoken about cyber bullying crossing age boundaries. It is no longer just our children involved in bullying. Parents/adults have become bullies or are victims of bullying just as much as our children.
We have received stories from parents that have been bullied on the job, by their next door neighbors, and even from people in their church; but this is the first time that we have received a letter from a homeschooling parent.
In the story below you will read an unedited letter about a group of parents in a Facebook Homeschooling Group that, according to the author of the letter; viciously attacked her and her family because she disagreed with one parent who happened to be the Administrator of the group. We took the time to look at some of the groups that she mentioned when interviewing with our team. We are sharing those links with you at the end of this story.
Please note that we are reaching out to the other parents to get their side of the story. Here at Parent Security, we believe there are two sides to every story, so please follow this story over the next few weeks.
“I am a Single Mother of two daughters living in Suffolk County, NY. I’m a Pediatric Nurse of 25+ years and have homeschooled since 2005. I am the proud mother of two wonderful daughters. Caitlin is 17 and the Co-Founder and Communications, Marketing and Promotions Director of EnvisionHer, an organization that helps support women in sustainable agriculture. My younger daughter, Amber is an enthusiastic, ray of sunshine. She is a professional actress who dreams of becoming a Broadway Star!
I began my homeschooling journey back in 2005 when my older daughters’ gifted private school was not able to meet her academic needs. I joined three Yahoo Homeschool Groups (SCNY, LIGHT & Suffolk County Homeschoolers). I really enjoyed homeschooling as the possibilities and educational opportunities were limitless. We made friends quickly and became apart of the community instantly. I started setting up field trips and classes right away, throwing myself into it and giving it my all.
The climate in the homeschooling community has changed over the years. The newer generation of homeschooling mothers is ruthless as they become part of this computer age. All of the groups have transitioned to Facebook now and people do and say things they would never do face-to-face or behind an email. Cyberbullying is prevalent and the most common type of bullying nowadays. The following is my story. A story of harassment, slander, defamation, bullying, exclusion, shunning, and a group of women, mothers, a children’s author, business owners and even professional educators that have no shame or regard for children and families.
In September 2014, I had a disagreement with the moderators of a small close-knit homeschool Facebook group, WOC. My 16 year old daughter was a member of the same group. One of the group members – Jamie Birdsong Nieroda, started rumors that my 16 year old daughter was a stalker and that she was stalking her and other members in the community.
Shortly after, my daughter and I were removed from the small close-knit homeschool Facebook group, WOC (Moderators – Raina Angelier, Athena Gordon & Joelle Daddino). This came as quite a huge shock as we had known these people for so long. My daughter Amber was best friends with Raina Angelier’s daughter, Iris. This was very hard on her, although she was excited that she would still see her at our Homeschool Girl Scout Troop Meetings.
We attended our very first Girl Scout meeting after being removed from WOC two weeks later. I thought everything seemed to be ok as we still belonged to multiple larger groups. Just prior to our next Girl Scout Meeting, my younger daughter (age 10) and I were removed from our Homeschool Facebook Girl Scout Troop #2354 (Troop Leader – Raina Angelier). My younger daughter, Amber was devastated as she always enjoyed spending time with her friends and being a Girl Scout.
A week later, just before Halloween, we were removed from SCHOOL (Suffolk County Homeschooling Out of Love, Moderators – Raina Angelier, Athena Gordon and Joelle Daddino). This was another big disappointment as we were friends with all the moderators and members of this group for years. I had no idea as to why this was happening. In addition two of the moderators, Raina Angelier and Joelle Daddino had blocked me on fb. Raina Angelier had blocked my older daughter on Facebook as well. We had heard that Raina began spreading rumors that she was afraid of us and that we were dangerous. Apparently Jamie Birdsong Nieroda was lying to people in the homeschool community saying that we had attacked her and another family.
I was then removed from SCNY Homeschool Group on Yahoo (Moderator – Kristen Yaccarino). I had been apart of SCNY since I began homeschooling, so I was very taken back and upset. I had contributed so much to that group organizing events, participating in others events and opening up my home to host events all within nine years.
Soon after I realized that I had been removed from API (Attachment Parenting International) Facebook Group for Suffolk County (Moderator – Jamie Birdsong Nieroda). This group serves to educate and support parents to use Non-violent communication and consciousness when parenting our children. I was appalled that a group with supposedly respectful and kind principles could disregard a parent and treat one of its’ members so cruel.
Then I was removed from Long Island Metro Homeschool Facebook Group (Moderator – Jamie Birdsong Nieroda). At one time I even moderated this group, at Jamie’s request.
On September 24th after being removed from every homeschool group on Long Island expect for East Hampton Homeschool Facebook Group (Moderator – Teresa Loos) and FLIGHT (Moderators – Leah Atzmon Eliopoulos, Melanie Posner, Cathy Ruiz-Brancazio and Courtney Bukauskas La Rosa), I decided to create my own homeschool group. My older daughter had organized FREE poetry classes in WOC and she still wanted to teach them. (In fact she has been offering FREE poetry classes for the WOC Homeschool group for 2 years). This propelled me and group members to organize activities and events for our children. Shortly after creating my own Homeschool Facebook group, the tires on my 2013 Hyundai Sonata were continuously slashed and the car engine ceased. (Since then I have had problems with my car battery and finding my car open after it has been locked overnight.)
Between October & December 1st Teresa Loos (owners of East Hampton Homeschool Facebook Group) routinely excluded my family off lists for homeschooling trips & activities. She kept on saying things like “Oh…I’m sorry. It was just an oversight and now that class if full.” I reminded her that I was the first to sign up for all of her classes. She even once told me to be at a location for a program and gave only my family the wrong time and we missed the program. My ten year old daughter was upset as these incidents were occurring with more frequency.
I then received a threatening message from a fake Facebook Account Name “Dawn Suches”. Telling me that she was going to make it unbearable for me and that she would destroy me as well. I reported the account and the message to Facebook and I contacted the police to filed a report.
I then contacted Teresa Loos who owns/moderates East Hampton Homeschool Facebook Group (EHHS) on November 17th, 2014. I shared with her the facebook message from “Dawn Suches”. Teresa Loos was the first and only person I shared the message with as I thought of her as a trustworthy person. She said she would look into it and call a fellow homeschooler later that evening. She said she would get back to me in the morning. That night I received a copy of a Facebook Status from (SCNY Moderator) Kristen Yaccarino’s Wall written late that night. It stated horrific lies and slander about my family and I. In the Facebook Status she warned homeschooling families to steer clear of me as she indicated that I was dangerous and a threat to the community. She also messaged people privately relaying untrue lies about my family and I.
Teresa Loos (East Hampton Homeschool Moderator) called me on Tuesday, November 18th 2014 and told me that people were spreading rumors that I called CPS on numerous families in the homeschooling community. She mentioned to me that she spoke with Kristen Yaccarino, just before she wrote up her Facebook Status.
The next day, Wednesday, November 19th 2014 I took my children on a Field Trip with East Hampton Homeschool Group (Moderator – Teresa Loos) to see “To Kill a Mocking Bird”. A group of us went to Bay Burger for lunch after the show. A few of the mothers ignored me and stared my children down and sat far away from us in the restaurant. It was later that afternoon that I received another vile, threatening Facebook message from the fake Facebook Account Name “Dawn Suches”. The messages indicated that they knew my whereabouts and told me that they were closer than I thought and they are watching me. They also stated that they had the power to destroy my family and I. This Dawn Suches character also mentioned that she was going to call cps on me that she was actually dying to do it. My family was fearful and on guard at all times.
Later that evening, I contacted Teresa Loos, as she was the only person I told about these messages and the “Dawn Suches” account. While speaking on the phone with her, I sent her the second message from “Dawn Suches”, hung up the phone to call her back in 5 minutes to give her enough time to read it. Once I called her back her response was very monotone. I heard laughing in the background and then her husband came home during the call and his response after reading it was very similar.
I reported the message and Facebook account “Dawn Suches” to Facebook and then I contacted the police and filed another report on November 19th, 2014. They assigned it to an investigator and he contacted me the next day. I gave him a list of possible suspects and the names of people that have been spreading horrific rumors of my children and I. The investigator called Teresa Loos and from that conversation alone, he decided that she was directly involved as she had either created the fake account and sent me the messages or she knew who had.
The investigator sought the court intervention by asking for a subpoena to locate the IP Address of the fake account sending me the messages. We waited as it was the Thanksgiving Holiday. The investigator was so certain that we were going to get a subpoena, however the judge said that it wasn’t threatening enough.
On Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 I held a Holiday Caroling Rehearsal at my home. I invited many homeschoolers to participate. One of the homeschooling mothers, Heather Htun) stayed later and asked if she could speak with me. She informed me of all of these terrible rumors and told me that she had been approached several times on various outings and online with the homeschoolers. The first was at the Riverhead Science Foundation weeks previous to this. Kristen Yaccarino and Angela Partridge had approached her and warned her about being in my homeschool group. They told her to stay away from my kids and I as we were dangerous. Heather Htun also stated that Jamie Birdsong Nieroda was bullying her to participate in the exclusion of my children and I. She also mentioned that Margaret Luckey had approached her in person and online. Margaret Luckey said that Heather Htun should stay away from us claiming that we are in the habit of calling CPS on homeschooling families. Margaret Luckey took this even further pinning Heather Htun in the Bay Burger Restaurant and asking her “Which group do you belong to? You can’t be in both. Pick one.” Later on that evening Heather Htun received a Facebook message from Margaret Luckey once again urging her for her own safety and for the safety of her children to steer clear from my family and I. Margaret Luckey also mentioned that we had called CPS on multiple families.
Shortly after Peter Helenius (Margaret Luckey’s Husband) had Facebook friend requested my two daughters. I quickly deactivated my younger daughters Facebook account and I tightened up the security on both my account as well as my older daughters account, as we were afraid of what this man wanted and wondered could he be the person stalking us and sending me hateful messages under the fake Facebook account “Dawn Suches”.
The tires on my new car continued being slashed and the hang up phone called continued as well. My family and I were afraid to be in our own home. We didn’t sleep well as we felt that we were always being watched and followed. It is the worst feeling ever.
We continued hosting and organizing events in our home, as I knew they were watching and were trying to destroy my new homeschool group. Everyday we continued never canceling any events not even during inclement weather. The more successful my group become the more enraged the bullies would become. This is when members of my group started leaving the group, defriending my older daughter and I on Facebook and then blocking us. We started to look into this and discovered that Kristen Yaccarino, Margaret Luckey, April Alexander, Jamie Birdsong, Teresa Loos, Raina Angelier, Joelle Daddino & Athena Gordon were spreading more insidious lies and urging people to leave my group.
On December 1st 2014, Teresa Loos removed herself from my homeschool group and removed me from hers’. She sent me an email indicating that her attorney advised her to remove everyone involved in the investigation. I was so hurt and betrayed as I thought she was my friend and I trusted her. My family and I were signed up to attend many activities and events on Teresa Loos’ Homeschool Group of which included annual activities that we were apart of for many years. We were being pushed out and ostracized from the entire homeschooling community that I had called home for a decade.
It was around this time that these bullies were contacting members in my homeschool group via Facebook Messaging, emails, phone calls, group events, anywhere they could, you name it! They repeatedly told new and old homeschoolers that we were dangerous, and that people shouldn’t come to my home for activities, because they and their children may be harmed. They told people that my 16 year old daughter was a stalker and my 11 year old daughter had done heinous acts to her friends all of which are bold face lies.
We continued creating events and minding our business just hoping these bullies would just get tired and go away. Boy, were we wrong. We found out that Kristen Yaccarino, Anne Cavallaro, Raina Angelier, April Alexander, Jamie Birdsong Nieroda, Laura Foster, and many others contacted the admins of FLIGHT (a homeschool facebook group based in Nassau County). These bullies tried to convince these group owners of FLIGHT (Leah Atzmon Eliopoulos, Melanie Posner, Cathy Ruiz-Brancazio, Courtney Bukauskas La Rosa) to remove us from the group as we were a threat to the safety of the children. Cathy Ruiz-Brancazio informed me of this and told the bullies “NO!” that she didn’t want to hear any rumors and she didn’t believe it. Unfortunately the bullies wouldn’t let up and within a month my daughter “Cait Brooke”, my sister “Kerry Berry”, my friend “Saghar Khorram” and myself were all deleted from the group. I was completely devastated as I had been a member of that group for 10 years and even moderated that group for a period of time about 5 years ago. FLIGHT (formerly known as LIGHT) felt like home to me. The bullies were succeeding in defaming my name and character and eliminating me from every homeschool group on Long Island just as they had promised in the threatening despicable Facebook messages from “Dawn Suches”. All of the groups above posted terrible messages about my children and I as if we were garbage. Tossed aside, thrown out of every group, even the Girl Scouts. I couldn’t understand how these people could sleep at night, as these are adults teaching their children. They even laughed about it and mocked us as they discussed online how they kicked us out.
All of the moderators blocked us on Facebook.
I continued to work on my homeschool group and focused all my energy on educating my children on how to be an ethical and moral leader in society, how to not react and never to use violence or revenge as these tactics make you the same as the bullies with their criminal acts. How to stand tall as I believed that these people would self-destruct as I couldn’t understand how so many sheeple blindly followed the ring leaders (Jamie Birdsong Nieroda, Kristen Yaccarino and Raina Angelier). How so many could pass along this information without ever meeting my family and I was mind-boggling. This is cyberbullying!
These bullies weren’t done yet as they continued stalking me, finding out what groups I belonged to outside of homeschooling. They contacted the group owners and admins of various groups that my daughter and I belonged to, ranging from Vegetarian, Vegan, Homesteading, Natural Parenting, Crunchy Granola Mama’s, Vegan Meet-ups, Raw Life, Spirituality Groups, and many, many more. Jamie Birdsong Nieroda, Kristen Yaccarino, Anne Cavallaro, Laura Foster, Margaret Luckey, April Alexander, Teresa Loos, Raina Angelier, Athena Gordon, Joelle Daddino, Leah Atzmon Eliopoulos, Courtney Bukauskas La Rosa, Melanie Posner.
Several of the group owners contacted me and told me that there is a whole group of mothers Facebook messaging them, urging them to remove my daughter and I from the groups. We were removed from all of these groups. How on Earth can these grown women attack my children and get away with it?
People just stood by and watched it happen. All the while never standing up for what’s right, or to help or to stop the madness. I called Athena Gordon about the Ethical Homesteading group as she was a member. She said that she couldn’t believe how out of control this whole thing had gotten and that her and Raina Angelier talk about it frequently. She went on to express how bad she felt about everything, but didn’t want to get involved because she didn’t need any of the problems that we were going through with the main bullies in her neck of the woods. I was deeply disappointed as I had known her for seven years and considered her a friend at one time.
The messages were continuously being sent to the members of my homeschool group. I made my group a “Secret Facebook Group” sometime in December as I couldn’t figure out how they knew who to send the messages to. I discovered that several people had infiltrated my homeschool group with fake Facebook accounts. They were following my every move. They knew what I was doing on a day-to-day basis. It was shortly after this that the bullies started spreading more rumors and gossip that I, Dawn Corrigan had created multiple fake Facebook accounts. It seemed that everything they were doing, they were telling everyone that I was doing it. It was complete insanity. More members left my group. Eventually defriending and blocking my daughter and I.
At one point I discovered that many of my members were being “followed” and “friend requested” on Facebook by a Facebook Account Named “Gwendolyn Divo”. I posted about it in my group and learned that basically all 90 members in my homeschool group were “friend requested” by “Gwendolyn Divo”. One of the members on my group had posted about the “Gwendolyn Divo” account on the other homeschool groups warning them about this account. Posts by the moderators/bullies of these groups were saying that I, Dawn Corrigan was in fact the person who created this account. They were all laughing and joking saying that I was crazy and that they wished that I had just moved on already telling the members that I was trying to infiltrate their group with fake Facebook accounts. Two days later, Teresa Loos (Owner of East Hampton Homeschool) posted to the groups that she was the person who created the account. She said that it was an old account of hers and she wanted to see how easy it was to get into the other homeschool groups, so she changed the name, put up a fake picture and just started friend-requesting people. She friend requested people that she was friends with on her real account in addition people she wasn’t Facebook friends with but were in my homeschool group. She also joined activities under the “Gwendolyn Divo” account name. People continued to bash and slander my name about this account then even after Teresa Loos came forward and took responsibility for causing much stress and anxiety in the homeschooling community. The moderators praised Teresa for “being so courageous” and “protective of our community” as she claimed that she only created this fake account and infiltrated my group for the “safety of the children”.
Since then, I found out about several fake Facebook account that have infiltrated my group and were created by yes, once again Teresa Loos (owner of East Hampton Homeschool). I contacted the police twice this past week in response to this lunatic trying to stalk me with every move I make.
Several people in my group stood up and questioned the actions of the Teresa Loos and the response of the other moderators/bullies. Heather Bellmore-Htun, Saghar Khorram, Monica, Dara and Donna. All of these people were attacked and bullied themselves by Kristen Yaccarino, Joelle Daddino, Jamie Birdsong Nieroda, Leah Atzmon Eliopoulos, Melanie Posner, Raina Angelier, Athena Gordon, some of them were even threatened and scared that these moderators would call CPS on them, just like they had threatened me in the messages.
Heather Htun was attacked verbally on the groups and removed from every homeschool group on Long Island with the exception of my group. Saghar Khorram was removed from every homeschool group on Long Island (with the exception of my group) and The Ethical Homesteading Group as well as the Vegetarian Group. Dara was removed from SCNY (Moderator –Kristen Yaccarino) for 24 hours. Monica was threatened and given a warning by SCNY (Moderator – Kristen Yaccarino). Donna was attacked verbally on the groups.
Another post of slander and defamation of my character went out on Saturday, February 14th, 2014 by Kristen Yaccarino (SCNY Moderator) was posted to all the homeschool groups. It stated that I was banned from all the groups, due to some behavior and that I’m a threat to the children in the community and in order to protect the safety of the children they would just like for me to “disappear”.
As of today another member of my homeschool group left. The rumors are still spreading like wildfire. These people need to be held accountable for what they have done and the damage they have caused. I’m urging the Police, NYS, Facebook, The Girl Scouts, API (Attachment Parenting International), and all media outlets to please hold these people accountable as cyberbullying is a horrific problem with not only children but adults as well. Due to grown men such as Peter Helenius (Margaret Luckey’s boyfriend) trying to friend both of my under age children, I deactivated my younger daughters facebook account and also tightened up what we actually post on facebook. It is clear to me that these women & men are out for revenge and won’t stop at nothing. My older daughter became depressed over the incidents as she cannot grasp or understand how adult women could treat her and all of us this way. One woman, Leah Atzmon Eliopoulus actually called my daughter “a bully” on her facebook page. My family and I have been targeted and want justice to be served. Please help!”
We have contacted the people who are mentioned in her letter for a responds. We will post each persons reponds unedited.
East Hampton Homeschool Facebook Group is NOW “Secret”
Long Island Metro Homeschool Facebook Group is NOW “Secret”
WOC Facebook Group is NOW “Secret”
API Suffolk County Facebook Group is NOW “Secret”
Girl Scouts (Raina Angelier) Facebook Group is NOW “Secret”
Please feel free to comment below and tell us how you feel.