FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 6, 2021
Bill Walsh (651) 373-1819
(Golden Valley, MN) As previewed at a recent press conference at the Minnesota Capitol, Bob and Cynthia Cajune, Native-American and White parents of multi-racial children at Lakeville Public Schools, alongside other Lakeville parents and students, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the posting of Black Lives Matter posters in school property while refusing to post divergent views on race and social justice, such as All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter posters.
Lakeville posted “Black Lives Matter” posters on school property, which were, according to the District, created based on input from some members of the Lakeville community. These posters include the message: “At Lakeville Area Schools we believe Black Lives Matter and stand with the social justice movement this statement represents. This poster is aligned to School Board policy and an unwavering commitment to our Black students, staff and community members.” When Bob Cajune asked that All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter posters be posted as well, Lakeville refused, claiming somehow that posters with those messages “were created specifically in opposition to Black Lives Matter” and that those messages “effectively discount the struggle the Black students have faced in our school buildings and that Black individuals face in our society as a whole.”
Not only is Lakeville’s position false, but Lakeville is promoting the political views of some of its community and refusing to allow alternative messages—a classic violation of the First Amendment’s prohibition on viewpoint discrimination in public fora.
Doug Seaton, President of UMLC, said: “Our clients meant it on July 26 when they publicly stated they would challenge Lakeville’s Critical Race Theory-inspired political messaging that intentionally squelches alternative viewpoints on race and social justice. Lakeville had an opportunity to change course, but they have not, and now they face this lawsuit. Other school districts should take note that supporting some political speech in public fora while squelching alternative views on political speech simply will not be tolerated by parents and students.”
Bob Cajune, a Lakeville Native-American Veteran and parent, says: “Black Lives Matter, of course, but so do all other human lives. Posting ‘BLM’ signs and disallowing ‘All Lives Matter’ signs is political speech or viewpoint discrimination. Discriminating against or demeaning any race is not neutral and is wrong.”
The Complaint is available here.
About Upper Midwest Law Center
Upper Midwest Law Center is a non-profit, public interest law firm with the mission to initiate pro-freedom litigation to protect against constitutional violations, government overreach, special interest agendas and public union corruption and abuses. UMLC is a 501(c)(3) organization.
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