Taxpayers Take School Board to Court for Trying to Silence Parents’ Criticism


Four taxpayers in Pennsylvania have decided enough is enough after footing the bill for a school board attorney who told them that the school system could limit their First Amendment rights.

The taxpayers filed a free speech lawsuit in federal court that could set a precedent for invalidating policies that shield both school administrators and elected officials from public criticism. 

“Our lawsuit seeks case precedent to establish that citizens cannot be censored or intimidated by government officials for exercising their First Amendment rights at a school board meeting,” Simon Campbell, a former member of the Pennsbury School Board, told The Daily Signal.

In their suit, Campbell and three other taxpayers whose children are or were enrolled in Bucks County’s Pennsbury School District ask the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to strike down school board policies used to “censor” citizens who dissent. 

The Institute for Free Speech, a Washington-based nonprofit law firm, represents the four plaintiffs. Their suit names Pennsbury School Board officers and other members as well as the board’s lawyers and current and former district officials. 

Michael Clarke, an attorney for the Pennsbury School District who is among the defendants, is on record informing parents and other residents that …read more