(LifeSiteNews) – The school board of Maine’s Regional School Unit 22 was ordered to pay $40,000 to an area father and activist it tried to bar from public meetings and other community functions on school grounds for exposing the district’s adoption of radical and obscene sex-related materials in schools.
The Epoch Times reported that Shawn McBreairty, director of special projects for the group Maine First Project, started working in October 2021 to expose controversial materials in use at RSU 22, including displays of pro-LGBT books and flags symbolizing a range of alternative sexual identities, posters promoting LGBT “allyship,” and a book from Maine school libraries called All Boys Aren’t Blue, which features a graphically-described sex scene between two young male cousins.
In addition to writing about the material, McBreairty read an excerpt from that scene at a school board meeting, generating shock among the attendees. “I was exposing what the school board chair said, which is basically that pornography is OK in the context of a book,” he told Epoch. “They were basically shocked. They couldn’t believe what they heard. I said, ‘if you’re under 18, plug your ears.’”
But rather than engage the community concerns he represented, RSU 22 forbade McBreairty from attending any school functions on campus, from board meetings to fairs, ostensibly because he used obscenities.
“They threw me out of a school board meeting” and a police officer threatened to arrest him for noncompliance, he says.
So McBreairty sued the district, and on August 30 a federal court sided with him, ordering RSU 22 to pay him $40,000 for violating his First Amendment rights.
“RSU 22 is pleased to announce it has reached a settlement with a citizen over their challenge to the District’s state-mandated, public participation policies,” the district told Fox News in a statement.
“The District acted appropriately in enforcing these policies, and will continue to call out inappropriate speech when necessary. The District welcomes and respects the viewpoints of all community members. The District looks forward to serious discussions about school-related topics, and we urge people to be civil in their discussions and follow District policies so that all people, especially the students we serve, always feel welcome and included.”
McBreairty says that after paying his attorneys he is “not taking a penny,” and will instead give the remainder toward other ongoing efforts to combat radical classroom materials, including the legal fees for other parents facing similar challenges. He says the issue is far bigger than objectionable books.
“If you’re a teacher, and you put a rainbow in your classroom, you have to know what you’re doing. I don’t care if they’re kindergarteners or seniors in high school,” he told Epoch. “We’ve been asleep at the wheel for the last decade or two, thinking that when we drop our kids off to school, it’s just like when we went to school. And it’s not.”
A recent New York Times/Siena College poll found that 70% of Americans oppose “allowing public school teachers to provide classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity to children in elementary school,” including 53% of Democrats.