'I want my voice to be heard': School sued for silencing mom

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A lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Oregon that challenges a local school district’s decision to censor a local school mother, restricting her speech in several forums including online and at board meetings.

The filing is from the Liberty Justice Center and it names as defendant the Gladstone School District.

School officials are accused of “violating a local mother’s First Amendment rights” by suppressing her speech online and in public meetings.

The case is on behalf of the constitutional rights of Glenda Scherer.

“The district prohibited her from posting in a publicly accessible Facebook group for parents at the school, required she submit all comments and questions to be pre-screened before open meetings, banned any discussion of current or former school employees, and sought to ban her from attending public school board meetings,” the legal team confirmed.

Liberty Justice wrote a demand letter to the school in January, explaining the district’s “social media and public comment policies unconstitutionally restrict speech protected by the First Amendment.”

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The lawyers for Scherer sought changes to include the district bringing its social media and public comment policies into compliance with the First Amendment, and the law firm revealed the district did agree to drop its demand that speakers submit comments for prior screening, and its decision to ban the mom from public meetings.

But, Liberty Justice said, “These partial concessions are not enough. The district did not lift its limitations on her speech online, nor did it roll back its ban on discussing current or former school employees—a ban that prevented Glenda from sharing her concerns after the district failed to discipline an employee who had been investigated for abusing her son.”

So the complaint was filed U.S. District Court in Oregon.

“I want my voice to be heard not just to advocate for my own children, but to advocate for all the unheard parents across the country who are being unconstitutionally silenced by school boards,” Scherer said in a statement released by her lawyers.

And Dean McGee, a lawyer specializing in education freedom, said, “The First Amendment prohibits officials at any level of government from censoring the free speech of those they disagree with. By fighting for Glenda, we are proud to also fight for the constitutional rights of parents and educational advocates across the country.”

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