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First Amendment Suit for Petitioning Teenager

Teens in Brewer, Maine were concerned about a school bathroom rule which permits  biological males to use the girls’ bathroom.  The teenagers decided to circulate a petition asking the administration to reconsider.  The petition could not have been more neutral in content.  However, the teens allege that the school administration came down hard on them for it, accusing them of committing a “hate crime.”

The teens want to continue circulating their petition, and the law says that students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door.  Importantly, the case is not about whether the bathroom policy is good or bad.  The case is about whether students can circulate a petition on campus without being intimidated by the government into silencing themselves.  We are proud to represent H.W. (named by initials because they are a minor) and seek to not only protect her rights, but the rights of all students.  Whether we agree with them or we do not, the public schools must permit students their First Amendment rights.

The complaint is here

The motion for preliminary injunction is here 

The Government Opposes the Injunction Here

Ms. MacDonald Opposes the Injunction Here

Our Reply Brief is Here

The case was argued on March 14, 2024 in Bangor, Maine.  We will post the transcript when it is prepared.

We are currently waiting on an Order from the District of Maine.   And we will post that when the order

The issues in the oral arguments were surprising, to say the least.  The government argued that since they didn’t suspend K.W., there was nothing to complain about.  And, that since one student claimed (after the fact) to be offended, this was sufficient.


UPDATE:  The Portland Press Herald is covering the case, but they are lying about it.  They likely have a First Amendment right to lie about it, or even if they do not, we have no interest in suing them.  However, you should be well aware that the Portland Press Herald is not a reliable news source, and it lied about this case.

Ask yourself why they are calling it a lawsuit “over inclusionary transgender policy.”  They have the complaint, they have all the information.  What do you think their agenda is?

If you are a journalist and seek information about this case, you are welcome to contact us.  However, we do not give comments to the Portland Press Herald about this case, at this time.  They are free to correct the headline, and to apologize for lying, and then we might talk to them.  But you should note how they are trying to lie to their readers and not trust a word they say.

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