If you’ve been reading the papers this week, you may have seen news that PTO Today (actually the parent company of PTO Today – School Family Media, Inc.) was sued Wednesday by the National PTA.

We received this news from the news media, as the PTA went directly to several media outlets with the story before we even knew we had been sued. In fact, we didn’t receive formal notice of the lawsuit until more than a day had passed and well after the PTA had completed its media outreach. It seems clear that the National PTA hopes to get some kind of public relations win from this action.

In light of that, we feel that it’s important to share our side of this story with all of those interested. We’ll use this blog category to share that story and to keep you updated on the progress of the lawsuit. We intend to defend ourselves vigorously against these claims, while also continuing to work every day to help local school PTO and PTA leaders.

To begin with, here are three links:

1. Our press release in response to the National PTA’s widely distributed release

2. Our formal statement on the matter.

3. This final link is a letter our attorney sent to the PTA more than four years ago on these exact same issues. We think it’s worth a read, because: a) it clearly points out the completely legal basis for how PTO Today does business; and b) it’s strong evidence of our willingness (even though we don’t believe changes are required) to make accommodations for the PTA.

Throughout this long process, we’ve offered to enter mediation with a third-party and even to enter binding arbitration. All of those offers have been rebuffed or ignored. We did not sue—we’d much rather be helping local PTOs and PTAs than dealing with this—and we did not bring this issue to the press. But in light of these recent actions, we certainly will defend our rights, and we will certainly share our side of the story proudly and widely.

From the day PTO Today was launched in June, 1999, it’s been very clear that the National PTA does not like our mere existence. They prefer a world where they are the only organization helping local parent-teacher groups. We believe that the more organizations that help parent-teacher groups the better. We are very proud of the fact that all of our services are used without discrimination by all types of parent-teacher group leaders. We’ve received hundreds of thank-you notes and emails from local PTA leaders who’ve appreciated our resources over the years. When we say that we serve local PTA leaders, it’s because we do. And we look forward to helping more in the years to come.

Stay tuned to this space for more information, if warranted….