The Center Square

Oregon School District Violating Mother’s First Amendment Rights, Group Alleges

January 29, 2024

(The Center Square)—On Monday, the Liberty Justice Center sent a demand letter to a school district on an Oregon mother’s behalf.

The mother alleges that her local school district’s social media and public comment policies violated her First Amendment rights.

Glenda Scherer, a mother of two children, contends that the Gladstone School District unconstitutionally suppressed her speech at public meetings and online.

She says the District will not let her post in its publicly accessible Facebook group for parents at the school unless administrators approve her posts. Additionally, she reports that the District makes her submit her questions and comments to be pre-screened by the Board before open meetings, has sought to ban her from going to school board meetings in person without the Superintendent’s prior approval, and banned her from discussions with any current or former school employees.

The latter ban “prevented her from sharing her concerns after the District failed to discipline an employee who had been investigated for abusing her son,” according to the Liberty Justice Center.

The Liberty Justice Center contends that the Gladstone School District’s social media and public comment policies unconstitutionally violate the woman’s First Amendment rights.

“The First Amendment protects Americans’ vital right to publicly voice their concerns and prohibits government officials from censoring speech they disagree with,” Educational Freedom Attorney Dean McGee said in the release. “The District cannot silence parents for its own convenience—public comment is essential to the betterment of public schools.”

In the letter it wrote, the Liberty Justice Center demands that the Gladstone School District amend its social media and public comment policies to adhere to the First Amendment. The Center wants the District to eliminate its restrictions that prevent Glenda Scherer from voicing her opinions about the District and its policies.

The Liberty Justice Center will file suit on Scherer’s behalf if the district fails to comply.

The letter the Liberty Justice Center wrote is available here.