Censorship

Parents fight back: School boards getting sued, facing recalls for censorship of concerned parents

Parents fight back: School boards getting sued, facing
recalls for censorship of concerned parents 1

The editorial comments in this article are brought to you by a former chief of police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

PENNSBURY, PENNSYLVANIA- Parents have had enough, and now are putting their money where their mouths are.

As school boards across the US attempt to stifle free speech by putting restrictions on it by implementing draconian and in some cases unconstitutional restrictions on parents’ speech.

Now, a parent’s group in Pennsylvania won a temporary injunction prohibiting, at least temporarily, school boards in the state from enforcing a policy which school boards deem “offensive,” “verbally abusive,” “intolerant,” or “irrelevant.”

Such terms are of course defined at the whim of those particular boards.

In an order granting a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge Gene E. K. Pratter prohibited, in this case, the Pennsbury School Board from enforcing such a policy. In addition, the injunction prohibited the requirement that speakers at public comment portions of meetings provide their home address.

 According to the Institute for Free Speech, which represents parents, the order was issued pursuant to a lawsuit filed in October by four parents and community members, who claimed they were being continually censored at school board meetings.

“Today’s ruling is a wake-up call for school boards across America. Parents and speakers have a First Amendment right to criticize school policies and officials at public meetings,” said Alan Gura. Vice President for Litigation for the Institute. “We encourage Americans who have been silenced under policies like Pennsbury’s to contact us for help.”

Pennsylvania isn’t the only place such censorship is occurring. Institute for Free Speech also represented the Brevard County, Florida chapter of Moms for Liberty in a legal challenge against similar school board policies in Florida.

In that case, the Brevard County School Board stands accused of selective enforcement of its ban on “personally directed” comments to allow praise but ban criticism.

In Pratter’s ruling, she said:

‘[P]ositive and complimentary personally-directed comments supportive of Board and school employees are permitted to be expresses, but negative, challenging, or critical-personally directed comments are prohibited.

Likewise, those who express support for a decision by singling out a School Board member are welcome, but those who criticize a decision are cut off. This is viewpoint discrimination regardless of whether speakers are at other times allowed to make a verbal personal attack,” the judge wrote.

The plaintiffs submitted a brief to Pratter earlier this month, claiming they have qualified immunity because the plaintiffs weren’t “exclud[ed] from public meetings, meaning there was no “clearly established” right violated at that time.

Among incidents cited by plaintiffs included the Pennsbury school board editing out a comment by one plaintiff from a meeting video, claiming he was using racist “dog whistles.”

In a subsequent meeting, one official interrupted three people for alleged “abusive and irrelevant” comments about the school district’s equity program, shouting, “You’re done!” repeatedly at each of them.

Moreover, Pratter noted, the school district actually brought in law enforcement officers during the meetings, which she noted as having a “chilling effect.”

Pennsbury, however isn’t backing down and accepting the ruling, which means in effect any final ruling would apply to all school boards within the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s jurisdiction.

Indeed, the injunction also notes that school districts which rely on the Pennsylvania School Boards Association model policy is legally vulnerable, according to Philadelphia-area school districts solicitor Jeffrey Sultanik in a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

That association was the first member to abandon the National School Board’s Association after that organization apparently colluded with the Biden administration and the Department of Justice by writing a letter asking for federal law enforcement involvement in so-called “domestic terrorism” incidents fomented by school board critics.

Since then, an additional sixteen state associations have abandoned the NSBA, and along with them some 40% of NSBA funding, according to National Review.

One matter that may become an issues is the divergence in court rulings regarding speech at school board meetings.

For example, the Sixth Circuit reinstated a lawsuit filed against the Madison, Ohio school board for it’s restrictions on so-called “antagonistic,” “abusive,” and “personally-directed speech,” which had been used by that school board on “gun-related issues.”

In that case, the school district was forced to fork over in excess of $100,000 to settle the lawsuit prior to the judge in the case, U.S. District judge Michael Barrett determining damages, according to the Journal-News.

Conversely last week the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in favor of the Loudoun County school board members and district officials who were sued by a longtime nemesis for banning him from school-sponsored activities a few years ago, a ruling read.  

That incident involved the plaintiff, Brian Davidson allegedly using an “aggressive tone” at a PTA meeting in which he accused a principal of violating the law, while also having his children distribute flyers on school property making the same allegations.

In its ruling, the appeals court wrote a policy that says comments “that are harassing or amount to a personal attack against any identifiable individual” may be defined as viewpoint neutral and even “necessary to further the [limited public} forum’s purpose of conducting good business,,” the appeals court ruled.

There is also a recall battle brewing in Loudoun County whereby the school board chair is accused of violating First Amendment rights of speakers at meetings by limiting comments and who was able to speak. That recall attempt, against Brenda Sheridan is set for a three day trial next spring, WTOP reported.

There is also a possible conflict of interest in that case, with a parents group Fight for Schools, seeking to be added to the case, seeking to have the Commonwealth of Virginia Attorney Buta Biberaj removed from prosecuting the case, claiming conflicts of interest. According to executive director Ian Prior in a statement to Fox News, Biberaj was “very involved in two of the very serious incidents that gave rise to the recall.”

The judge who is currently overseeing the recall case, Judge Jeanette Irby had previously disqualified Biberaj in a similar recall campaign against former Loudoun County school board member Beth Barts, who instead resigned, claiming threats.

“I would hope anyone in this room, participating in the judicial process would not resort to threats,” Irby told the parties this week at a hearing.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

For more on what has been occurring at school board meetings, we invite you to read our prior reporting: 

DIG DEEPER

ROUND ROCK, TX – Just when Texans thought it would be safe to say that “this would never happen here,” a school district in the Austin suburb of Round Rock just showed why you should never say “never”. 

Two concerned fathers were arrested at their homes by Williamson County deputies and charged with disorderly conduct with intent to disrupt a meeting. Their arrests were preceded by both men being forcibly removed from back-to-back school board meetings in August and September. 

The egregious offenses that led to this?

Speaking. 

Read that again. 

Speaking. 

Both men were at the microphone during the public comment section. One of them was speaking about corruption within the school board (keep reading), while the other was discussing the property tax rate increases. 

That is it. That was the “crime.”

Now, according to KTVN, Round Rock residents are calling for the resignation of 5 board members and the superintendent over the arrests and what many believe to be an effort to silence the community they were elected to serve. 

Jeremy Story, a local minister was addressing the meeting to expose what seems to be credible evidence of corruption against the school board itself and the superintendent, Hafedh Azaiez. 

Parents fight back: School boards getting sued, facing recalls for censorship of concerned parents
Photo courtesy of Round Rock ISD website

Turns out that maybe Dr. Azaiez isn’t actually a fan of the community coming together after all. 

The corruption Story was detailing involves allegations of assault against the superintendent that include criminal accusations. 

Azaiez is alleged to have had a mistress that he threatened in an attempt to keep the affair a secret. 

Two board members issued a release, saying: 

“Since the RRISD Board of Trustees was first notified of deeply troubling accusations (including criminal accusations) against RRISD Superintendent, Hafedh Azaiez, in mid-July, we (Bone and Weston) have actively sought to protect RRISD students, staff and the community at large,” they began.

“On [July 13], Trustee Bone was contacted by a woman who briefed Bone that Dr. Azaiez assaulted her and that she feared for her safety and that of her unborn child,” read the release.

“The victim shared that once protective measures (including but not limited to a restraining order) were put in place, and when she felt safe to do so, she would pursue criminal charges. She also requested to be able to share her story with the board president.”

Board President Amy Weir, who denies that the rest of the board has been notified of the accusations, refused to allow the woman to address the board with her side of the story. 

Parents fight back: School boards getting sued, facing recalls for censorship of concerned parents
YouTube screenshot

Weir issued a release of her own on behalf of the board. 

“It is incredibly disappointing that two fellow Trustees have broken with Board policy and are participating in the dissemination of rumors, which, despite being circulated among certain community members, have not resulted in any reports to or charges from law enforcement.

The letter provided by Trustees Bone and Weston included inaccurate information — the full Board has not received any claims of assault or domestic violence from any alleged victim.

This Board has also received no reports from any law enforcement entity indicating charges have been filed. What has been shared are unsubstantiated rumors from community members. We are monitoring the situation for changes, if any.

If a meeting is needed, it will be scheduled when all Trustees are available.”

District policy states the the president shall call a special meeting at the request of two members. The key word is “shall”. Not “may” or “can,” but “shall”. 

Shall is used in laws, regulations, or directives to express what is mandatory.

To date, there has been no special meeting called to discuss this matter. 

Likewise, there has been no formal statement made by the superintendent, who is no stranger to using district resources to stifle dissenting voices.

Reports indicate that when he was the superintendent of Donna ISD, he used the ISD police to issue a 2-year long restraining order against a concerned grandparent. He did so without any court hearing or other manors of due process.  

His entire tenure at RRISD, all 6 months of it, have been controversial to say the least.  

Based on a timeline found on Story’s website further alleges on June 14, 2021: 

“Many community members testify in a board meeting to urge the school board to take one or two more weeks of further vetting for Hafedh Azaiez before voting on whether to hire him as Superintendent.  The school board ignores the community and votes 5-2 to hire Hafedh Azaiez as the new superintendent.

Of primary concern is Hafedh Azaiez’s recent use of district police to issue a restraining order against a whistleblower grandmother in Donna ISD where he is presently superintendent.

New superintendent/then candidate is hiding in a back room during the whole meeting; he comes out and makes speech after his presence is announced by School Board President, Amy Weir. 

The two board members who voted against the hire, Mary Bone and Danielle Weston state from dais they were not informed Hafedh Azaiez was present at the meeting and express concern this covert coordination of his hire is a violation of Open Meetings Act.”

The rest of the timeline, if accurate, paints a disturbing picture of not only the superintendent, but also other members of the board. 

They went so far as to file a censure motion against Bone and Weston to prevent them from attending meetings and setting foot on any school property.

The two members got a court injunction to prevent that censure discussion from being held at the board meeting. But ISD police still blocked the entry of parents after the room which seats 375 was reduced to 18 chairs. The board removed parents that brought their own chairs. 

The Texas Education Agency has stepped in to investigate what is happening and has assigned a monitor to attend all board meetings to evaluate the activity of the school board and attendees.

The documentation surrounding all of these items with the board, the superintendent and the gentlemen the school district arrested can be found here

The second father, Dustin Clark, an Army veteran stood at the next meeting after the district used police to “limit seating for the board meeting and block parent out.” 

He told the board that it was illegal to pass unlawful tax increases while simultaneously using district law enforcement to keep parents out.  

He was physically escorted out by district officers. 

The district previously operated their budget based on a property tax rate of $1.2212 per $100 of a properties appraised value. The new tax rate was actually reduced to $1.1336 per $100. 

But even with the apparent reduction in tax rates, the board approved a budget that was $17M higher than the previous year, even though they announced that “3,000 students have left the district resulting in a $30M unexpected shortfall.”

We have contacted several members of the board seeking comments on the current status. Once we receive a response, we will provide an update.

Even though this is not a wide-spread issue in Texas…yet, school boards across the country are making headlines for signaling to parents that they have no say in what goes on in their schools. 

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Report: Calls for immediate resignation of school board official that compiled ‘creepy dossier’ on parents and children

SCOTTSDALE, AZ- According to reports, parents are calling for the resignation of a school district official who is alleged to have access to a dossier of private information and photos of parents and children in the school district. 

A report with AZ Free News stated that a group of mothers allegedly found Scottsdale Unified School District’s (SUSD) Governing Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg had access to a “Google Drive file full of personal information, documents, and photos of about 47 people, including children.”

SUSD apparently sent out an email on Wednesday, November 10th, assuring families that their private and education information is safe. However, the district also laid blame on Mark Greenburg, the father of the Governing Board president, for the digital dossier site. 

Amy Carney, a mother of six who is running for a seat on the Governing Board in 2022, called for Greenburg to step down from his position.

She said in a statement:

“I am calling for the immediate resignation of our board president Jann-Michael Greenburg. We cannot allow anyone in a leadership position to secretly compile personal documents and information on moms and dads who have dared speak out publicly or on social media about their grievances with the district.”

Reportedly, records of a special SUSD board meeting held on August 17th revealed that Jann-Michael Greenburg said he shared a computer with his father, Mark.

The report noted:

“With Mark and Jann-Michael sharing a computer and a home, there is no way to know which of them has been uploading files (now known as the “G-Files”) to the drive.”

Some parents have allegedly said that they believe Jann-Michael has shared information found in the files in order to intimidate some parents, characterizing that behavior as an “unacceptable abuse of power.” The Google Drive file also reportedly contains information on parents from nearby school districts and conservative radio host, James T. Harris.

Carney said in a statement:

“We request President Greenburg’s resignation from the Governing Board effective immediately for this and other recent embarrassments to our district.”

Attorney Alexander Kolodin of the Davillier Law Group also weighed in on the issues at SUSD, saying:

“These allegations are deeply troubling, especially the concerns of the photography of a minor child without parental consent and the taking down of license plate numbers of parents who Mr. Greenburg supposedly perceived as political opponents.”

Kolodin added:

“Mr. Greenburg is an elected member of the school board. If such a photograph was taken with his express or tacit consent, he would potentially be liable for violations of Arizona’s Parents’ Bill of Rights, which recognizes a parent’s “fundamental” right to consent before the government makes a video or voice recording of the minor child.”

Reportedly, Kolodin mentioned that Mark Greenburg “engaged in some acts while keeping his face hidden under a helmet and while wearing motorcycle gear.”

He added:

“Both Arizona and the federal government have laws prohibiting both intimidation generally and voter intimidation in particular. If these allegations are true, Mr. Greenburg and his father might be liable for violating one or more of these laws, though it is difficult to say from the limited facts that have been reported and they must, of course, be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”


Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. 

And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

School board president caught on hot mic telling worried parents “f-you” during a meeting about mandates

November 2, 2021

According to reports, the president of a California school board is facing criticism and calls to resign after a hot mic caught her telling parents to “(expletive) you” during a meeting discussing masks in classrooms and a vaccine mandate. 

Parent Lauren Roupli spoke during a school board meeting and raised concerns regarding mask mandates and vaccines for children at an October 26th Los Alamitos Unified School District Board of Education meeting. Roupoli ended her speech telling the board:

“We are vocal because we are ort children’s biggest advocates.”

Following her comment President Marlys Davidson was caught saying disparaging comments while the crowd applauded Roupoli’s speech. Davidson said:

“Thank you, thank you. Margaret’s next, thank you. Your time’s up.”

Then, in a moment of quiet, she was heart uttering the words, “(expletive) you,” which was picked up by her microphone. Watch below:

According to reports, Davidson has since issued an apology, noting that “when members of the public address the Board of Education, they must be heard with respect.” She added:

“I reaffirm my commitment to serve our community with dignity and integrity and I hope they will accept my sincere apology.”

Regardless of the apology, Roupoli stated that Davidson “needs to step down.” She added:

“After her true colors showed last night, there’s not taking that back.”

According to the New York Post, Roupoli said that no one in the room had initially heard the answer, but she found out later when she was messaged by people who had watched the meeting online, where it was audible. She said:

“I could not believe it. I was flabbergasted. To think that it took a hot mic to catch her real feelings just shows her true colors and I think the only acceptable apology would be for her resigning.”

Roupoli said many have joined her in her call for Davidson’s resignation, adding:

“These people are supposed to be listening to our concerns and that’s their job as a board, especially as a president of the board.”

Roupoli said that Davidson also offered to apologize to her personally, but that she declined to accept.

Fox News reported that roughly 6.7 million students are affected by California’s mask mandate requirements. The mandate is reportedly endorsed by the California Association of School Boards and California’s biggest teacher’s unions. 

According to the Los Alamitos Unified School District website, Davidson has served as the school board’s president since 2018. She taught in Los Alamitos elementary schools and secondary for 25 years and was selected as the districts’ “Teach of the Year” in 2010. The website says:

“Collaborating over the years with educators, parents, community members, and students in our district has taught her that we are all better when we value and share what each one of us can bring to the table. She encourages and values all communication from parents, students, community members, and educators.”

The argument from parents opposed to vaccines for children is that they see the long-term side effects as unknowns. They also say these mandates infringe upon their freedoms.

Opponents of these calls to protest insist that the mandates are based on science and the only way to emerge from the pandemic is to be vaccinated and wear masks.

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. 

And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Kids forced to wear masks in school, yet celebs at Emmy Awards were packed together indoors with no masks

September 20th, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA- On Sunday, September 19th, Hollywood celebrities were packed close together in an enclosed space at the 73rd annual Emmy Awards all while still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet millions of children across the U.S. are being forced to wear masks in school. 

Breitbart News reported that celebrities were also congregating at in indoor venue in London.

Presenter Seth Rogen appeared baffled by the indoor setting. Allegedly, Emmy organizers had announced earlier that the show would take place in an “air-conditioned tent.”

However, the venue, as shown on TV appeared to be fully enclosed. Rogen joked:

“I would not have come to this. Why is there a roof?”

Host Cedric the Entertainer tried to preemptively ward off criticism early in the broadcast. When trying to reassure viewers at home, He said:

“You had to get vaxxed to come here. I got Pfizer because I’m bougie.”

Earlier reports stated that Emmy organizers mandated all attendees to test negative for COVID-19 and prove that they have been vaccinated.

The Television Academy announced that attendees of both the Primetime Emmy Awards and Creative Art Emmy Awards, will be required to show proof of full vaccination and to test negative for COVID-19.

Attendees were limited to nominees and a guest. Prior to the event, it was unclear of Emmy attendees would have to wear masks. However, as viewers at home saw, several maskless celebrities socialized in close proximity while indoors.

This provoked social media outrage, with some noting that children across the country are being forced to wear masks in schools despite millions being vaccinated. Madison Gesiotto Gilbert tweeted:

“As expected, celebrities are almost exclusively without masks at the Emmys.”

Joe Colangelo tweeted:

“My kids eat their lunches on their laps in the school auditorium, facing forward and get yelled at if they talk to friends.”

Another user tweeted:

“I honestly don’t understand. I flipped on the Emmy’s and no one is wearing a mask. My 2 vaccinated boys are required to wear a mask for 8+ hours a day in school. Wtf is this? #rulesfortheenotforme.”

Jeff Bishop tweeted:

“At the bar and the Emmys came on. No masking. But yet kids have to wear a mask to school. #WTF.”

Another user tweeted:

“This same crowd wants you to wear a [mask] outdoors, at stadiums, inside restaurants, schools and stores. You can’t wear a mask in church or at the gym because they want those places closed. They [celebrate] themselves while the servants are masked and silent. #Emmys.”

Tyler Litzenberger tweeted:

“Actors at Emmys? No mask in sight. My kids at school? Mask. And which age group is more problematic? Infuriating.”

Another user wrote:

“They don’t wear masks at the Emmys, but they mask your kids at school. STOP THE NONSENSE.”

Los Angeles has seen an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases, with breakthrough infections reportedly accounting for 30 percent of all new coronavirus cases. Breakthrough infections are classified as those coronavirus cases occurring in fully vaccinated people. Eric Bott tweeted:

“No masks at the #Emmys because rules are for the little people.”

One viewer said:

“No masks being worn INSIDE at the Emmy’s. Call me not shocked, love to preach but not practice what they preach…”

The Emmy’s were not the only big Hollywood event that got fans upset over the pandemic rules.

The Met Gala earlier this month also sent viewers into a frenzy. Law Enforcement Today recently reported on on rap superstar Nicki Minaj opted not to attend the gala because guests were required to show proof of vaccination. 

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

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