Astroturfing in American English is a neologism for formal public relations campaigns in politics and advertising which seek to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf. The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event.
Maria Korn appeared before the school board last night. She presented herself as a parent with two kids in the public school one of whom had just made the honor roll. Korn spent her time in front of the board extolling the virtues of the teachers at Trinity school and how she, as a parent, was able to bond with the teachers at Trinity.
At no point did Mrs. Korn reveal that she has done a lot more than just "bond" with Trinity teachers since she works with them every day as a paid teacher's assistant. Not only did she fail to mention that she works for the District but she was the district employee directly responsible for the "collective punishment" issue at Trinity School. Ms. Korn was one of the teachers chastised by Trinity School Principal Richard McMahon and forced to write an apology and send it to the parents of all students involved. Our sources at the school indicate that Ms. Korn was the architect as described by Principal McMahon, the person who came up with the idea to collectively punish Trinity first graders. Maria Korn's name is on the letter sent home to Trinity parents.
After Maria Korn completed her statement to the board, her husband Roland Korn also spoke. Mr. Korn told the board he "just wanted to say" what a great job the board did and went on to praise the board members for their hard work and sacrifice and to tell the board what a great job they did. I actually took their appearance as a compliment to this web site because it appears to me that their remarks had been orchestrated either by members of the board or district officials in some sort of ham-handed effort to rebut articles on this web site and well as my own appearances before the board.
I can't say for sure but it seemed to me the board President Cindy Babcock-Deutsch was orchestrating their appearance and knew what they were going to say before the said it. If this is the case, it is on odd way to go about generating propaganda since almost the entire group of 38 people present were either on the board or worked for the District. Apparently Cindy Babcock-Deutsch is under the delusion that astroturfed blog posts and appearances, along with a coordinated media campaign and hiring a community liaison is somehow going to serve to rebut facts which raise questions about the ethical, legal and financial conduct of district employees.