Pulaski School District gets temporary restraining order against Gays Against Groomers chapter leader

PULASKI — A Brown County Circuit Court commissioner granted the Pulaski Community School District's request for a temporary restraining order against the leader of the Wisconsin chapter of Gays Against Groomers on Friday.

Jose "Rocky" Rodriguez is accused of harassing and intimidating the district, its staff and the Pulaski School Board, according to a school district brief filed in circuit court. Gays Against Groomers is a national organization with chapters in 18 states that criticizes and protests LGBTQ+ education in schools and minors attending drag shows.

In September, Rodriguez posted a video on TikTok with "harassing, intimidating, and threatening statements" against a school district staff member, the district overall and the school board, according to the brief.

Rodriguez stated in the video, "Pulaski High School and Pulaski School Board, we're coming for ya. This is not going to end very well for you, trust me." He then included images of the staff member and the high school and district addresses. The video has about 100 views on TikTok.

He told the Press-Gazette in an interview that was "internet lingo."

"That means that we have you on our radar. We know what the accusations are. We're watching to see what happens," he said.

In another video, Rodriguez sought out the school district staff member at the NEW Pride 2023 event held Sept. 22 saying, "Let's go find this b----." In the caption of the video, he accused the staff member of "encouraging his students to visit his sexually explicit (Instagram) and TikTok pages."

These allegations were first made in September by Libs of TikTok, a right-wing social media account that "reposts a steady stream of TikTok videos and social media posts, primarily from LGBTQ+ people, often including incendiary framing designed to generate outrage," according to The Washington Post.

The school district investigated the allegations and found them to be unsubstantiated.

"At present, we have investigated the extent to which the teacher’s personal life was brought into the school environment by the teacher and find no evidence to support that concern," Superintendent Allison Space, wrote in an email to the Press-Gazette on Sept. 21.

"Allegations being made by those not connected with the district have not been supported with any evidence or any source ... At this time, I have no reason to believe that this teacher’s personal life has affected his job performance or that it poses any risks for the students," she continued.

The Press-Gazette is not naming the staff member to protect their privacy, since they have not been charged or suspected of any wrongdoing.

Rodriguez doesn't live in the Pulaski School District or Green Bay and does not have any children in the school district, according to the brief.

"The Respondent's threatening statements are calculated to incite others to join in his harassing, intimidating and threatening conduct," according to the school district's brief.

Rodriguez did not mean the videos to be threatening, he told the Press-Gazette.

"My translation of it, that I was hoping people would get, was that taxpayers are going to hold you accountable. Parents are going to hold you accountable," he said.

The Pulaski Police Department is considering criminal charges against Rodriguez, according to Police Chief Kurt Kitzman in an affidavit filed Friday.

The temporary restraining order requires Rodriguez to stop harassing the district and its staff in person, by phone, writing or online. There's an injunction hearing Oct. 13, when the order is scheduled to expire.

Space did not immediately respond to a phone call and email.

Danielle DuClos is a Report for America corps member who covers K-12 education for the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Contact her at dduclos@gannett.com. Follow on Twitter @danielle_duclos. You can directly support her work with a tax-deductible donation at GreenBayPressGazette.com/RFA or by check made out to The GroundTruth Project with subject line Report for America Green Bay Press Gazette Campaign. Address: The GroundTruth Project, Lockbox Services, 9450 SW Gemini Drive, PMB 46837, Beaverton, Oregon 97008-7105.

This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Pulaski School District gets temporary restraining order against Gays Against Groomers chapter leader