Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA 1974) Complaint – Ames, IA Community School District

Attachment 1

1. A request for records in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 22 was submitted to Ames, IA Community School District in Dec 2021. 

2. Ames, IA Community School District responded on 22 DEC 2022 they have no record of Michael J. Merritt being a parent to any of their students. 

3. A request for records in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA 1974) and Iowa Code Chapter 22 was submitted to Ames, IA Community School District on 21 Mar 2022 including copies of Michael J. Merritt’s identification, student’s birth certificates, and a court judgment from San Diego East County Superior Court dated 16 SEP 2021 documenting Michael J. Merritt has parental rights to education and medical records for ******* ****** ******* (DOB:  ** *** ****). 

4. Ames, IA Community School District responded on 28 MAR 2022 they have no record of Michael J. Merritt being a parent to any of their students.  While at the same time including a document attached to their electronic mail including the names of two students, their previous contact information, previous grade, extracurricular activity summary, name of the state they were transferred from, and the name of the city/state/school they were transferred to.  How can a school district respond to a request for records in accordance with the FERPA 1974 that they have no record of the requester being a parent to any of their students while releasing some information about the students they are enquiring about?

5. Ames, IA Community School District registered students for the 2019-2020 school year on 28 AUG 2019 that were being concealed from court appearances ordered by San Diego East County Superior Court on 05 JUN 2019 by Claudia J. Bergman, Matthew E. Merritt, and Sara N. Merritt. Ames, IA Community School District provided free public education for two children that were never authorized or mediated to leave California while concealed from their father, the court, and court-ordered appearances by conspirators using false allegations of sexual abuse that San Diego, CA East County Superior Court documented on 16 SEP 2021 there is no evidence to support.

6.  The originator of this complaint is standing by for all school records, electronic mail, and any miscellaneous documents regarding student ******* ****** ******* (DOB:  ** *** ****).  The originator of this request is requesting a search be conducted of Ames, IA Community School District information systems for all electronic mail and files mentioning student ******* *******, ******* * *******, ******* *. *******, or ******* ****** *******.

Michael J. Merritt
PO BOX 187
Newton, IA 50208

Attachment 2

1. On 28 AUG 2019, Ames, IA Community School District coordinated the registration of two students with Sara N. Merritt.

a.  Sara N. Merritt was not on these students’ birth certificates.

b.  San Diego, CA East County Superior Court had jurisdiction over these students from January 2017 to August 2021.

c.  Sara N. Merritt was never a party to San Diego, CA East County Superior Court case:  ED100465.

d.  Sara N. Merritt was never issued court documents by San Diego, CA East County Superior Court indicating she was these student’s legal guardian.

e.  Sara N. Merritt documented on Ames, IA Community School District registration documents that she was these student’s legal guardian.

f.  Claudia J. Bergman (formerly Claudia J. Merritt, residing in California) was the court-ordered legal guardian and recipient of monthly child support as documented by San Diego, CA East County Superior Court on 08 APR 2019.

g.  Claudia J. Bergman, Sara N. Merritt, and Matthew E. Merritt conspired to conceal these students in Iowa after Claudia J. Bergman was court-ordered on 05 JUN 2019 by San Diego, CA East County Superior Court to appear with these students for FCS Child Interviews.

h.  These court-ordered FCS Child Interviews were scheduled for 21 AUG 2019 and 30 AUG 2019 at San Diego, CA East County Superior Court.

i.  The coordination of this transfer of custody not authorized by the court led to a restraining order violation involving indirect contact from Claudia J. Bergman’s Mother-in-law, violating Michael J. Merritt’s 30 APR 2019 domestic abuse protection order.

j.  This domestic abuse restraining order violation was reported to the Newton, IA Police Department with supporting evidence in Iowa Incident Report 19-26175.  The Newton, IA Police Department, and Jasper County, IA Attorney took no action against this violation. 

k.  These students failed to appear for at least one court-ordered FCS Child Interview at San Diego, CA East County Superior Court while attending school at Ames, IA Community School District.

l.  These students were disenrolled from Ramona, CA Unified School District approximately around 21 AUG 2019, according to an electronic mail received from Mike Ernst of Ramona, CA Unified School District on 28 AUG 2019.

m.  These FCS Child Interviews were scheduled to hear these students’ testimony regarding allegations of sexual abuse Claudia J. Bergman utilized on her 17 MAY 2019 domestic abuse protection order request.

n.  Honorable Judge Martin (formerly of San Diego, CA East County Superior Court) issued this temporary protection order based on zero evidence and one allegation the San Diego, CA County Sheriff had investigated during the summer of 2017 (Case:  17136819) while finding no evidence and filing no charges.

o.  Claudia J. Bergman first documented her allegations of sexual abuse in court on FL-300 dated 03 DEC 2018, while requesting child support for these students.

p.  Claudia J. Bergman retracted her restraining order request on 31 OCT 2019 under legal guidance by Maria Kraus after providing zero evidence to support her allegations and concealing two witnesses in Ames, IA with Matthew and Sara Merritt while attending school at Ames, IA Community School District.

q.  Minor’s Counsel Meredith Levin was appointed on 31 OCT 2019 to represent these students.

r.  During Minor’s Counsel Levin’s tenure as Minor’s Counsel 31 OCT 2019 – 27 FEB 2020, she failed to report these students were living in Iowa while not in the custody of Claudia J. Bergman as ordered on 08 APR 2019.  Indicating Minor’s Counsel Levin failed to represent the best interest of her clients in accordance with California Rules of the Court 5.242 because she was unaware of what state her clients were in and who had custody.

2.  The evidence in this situation indicates that Ames, IA Community School District executes policy that enables the enrollment of students to attend public education in their district while:

a.  Students are in the custody of adults not appearing on their birth certificates.

b.  Students are in the custody of adults not authorized or known to the courts having jurisdiction over their students

This would indicate children that have been kidnapped could be registered at Ames, IA Community School District by adults, not on the student’s birth certificates or authorized to have custody.  This conclusion is supported by the abuse of power by the custodial parent and her conspirators listed in paragraph (1.) Ames, IA Community School District allowed while possibly failing to adhere to their responsibilities in Iowa Code Section 232.67, 232.68, 232.69, and 232.70.

This execution of policy by Ames, IA Community School District, indicates they allowed Sara N. Merritt to complete and submit educational records that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (1974) articulates she did not have legal rights to access or view.

3.  Ames, IA Community School District, communicated in an electronic mail dated 28 MAR 2022 they have no record of Michael J. Merritt being a custodial parent/legal guardian of any of their students. While in this electronic mail Ames, IA Community School District included a document listing two students, their previous contact information, previous grade, extracurricular activity summary, name of the state they were transferred from, and the name of the city/state/school they were transferred to.  How can a school district respond to a request for records in accordance with the FERPA 1974 that they have no record of the requester being a parent of any of their students while releasing some information about the students they are enquiring about?

4.  I served in the United States Navy for twenty years because I believe in the Constitution of the United States of America.  I served because I care about the lives of others and I wanted to protect their families.  I do what I do now not because it will restore the years I lost with my children; I do it because I will not sit idle while other children and their parents experience the same abuse and pain my children and I experience.

My list grows longer as I collect evidence of the people and agencies that failed to protect my family—at the same time, allowing Claudia J. Bergman and her conspirators to continue executing this malicious agenda of illusory abuse.

Michael J. Merritt
PO BOX 187
Newton, IA 50208