The Portland Public Schools and Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero are being sued in federal court for using tax money to orchestrate a mass anti-gun mass walk-out by students.
The civil rights lawsuit, brought by two sets of Portland parents, allege that Portland Public Schools went to great lengths to produce the 2018 demonstrations which saw thousands of students leave classrooms and take pictures of themselves with anti Second Amendment, anti NRA and anti-gun signs.
The parents’ attorney, James Buchal, a civil rights attorney and head of the Multnomah County Republican Party, said the lawsuit “demonstrates the extraordinary degree to which PPS officials have misused scarce educational resources for narrowly partisan and political objectives.”
The 31-page complaint included emails and photos demonstrating what Buchal said was collusion between administrators and school officials to work with anti-gun groups to “groom” students into ‘leading’ the walk outs.
The complaint reads in part:
“A continuous disinformation effort was made by defendants to portray demonstration efforts as student-led. For example, an Assistant Principal at Laurelhurst School reported on February 27th: “We just got off the phone with our Sr. Director and his guidance was to keep this as student centered as possible.” He suggested that teachers identify useful studentproxies so that he and another school official could have lunch with them for event planning, though phrasing his request as “see[ing] what they want to do” (See Exhibit 26). Offering young students who took one side of a controversial political issue private lunches with senior school officials is and was intended to be seductive, to groom, recruit and motivate students to the political cause favored by defendants, in order to reinforce and achieve the political goals of the defendants. Upon information and belief, no PPS administrator or teacher invited pro-Second- Amendment students to have lunch with them to see what they wanted to do, and PPS offered no school resources to pro-gun students similar to those PPS provided to anti-gun students.”
Such efforts at the very least defied the District’s own policies.
In fact, the lawsuit shows memos, flyers, emails (using official PPS email system and contacts) and other examples of teachers and administrators plotting to, not only organize the advertised “student led” walk outs, but providing helpful maps on walk out map routes around schools, lesson plans, and the official color students should wear:
A teacher provided students with how to write and lobby elected officials for gun control:
The lawsuit also alleges that developmentally disabled students were used by organizers to hold signs even though they couldn’t understand them:
“Even younger, or developmentally disabled students, incapable of reasoned choice as to participation, were pressed into service as pawns and props by defendants. Oneparent complained: “Our special needs 5th grader doesn’t understand why he had to wear a sign around his neck and march around the school….” (Exhibit 29) (Nextdoor posting)).”
It was so obviously a school-led event that parents had to opt out their children or they’d be required to participate in the walk out.
Schools changed their bell schedules to add an extra period so students breaking the district’s own policies wouldn’t be marked absent.
The walk outs were an orchestrated commemoration of the 17 students murdered at the Majory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida in 2017 by a mentally deranged gunman and former student.
The shooting was horrible enough of course, but Buchal provided proof that students were “emotionally manipulat[ed]” by “misleading propaganda” to “create political theater designed to manipulate public opinion and pressure elected officials to ban guns.”
Buchal says there was never mention of the Parkland school’s own complicity in the violence, beginning with the PROMISE program that refused to arrest and treat the mentally ill student, to the armed school resource officer who cowered outside while students were being shot inside the school.
Buchal, a Harvard educated and Yale trained lawyer, argues that by forcing parents to subsidize the political activities of teachers and administrators, it “… violates their First Amendment rights, and that the pervasive climate of indoctrination and intimidation within the Portland schools also unconstitutionally interferes with the free speech rights of students. The suit also seeks to compel PPS to complete its long-overdue response to the Public Records Act request, pointing out that the Multnomah County District Attorney previously ordered PPS to complete the production by December 6th.
I would have posted this last Thursday when I heard about it, but family commitments prevented it. However, the later timing allowed me to see the ‘coverage’ this important story got.
Willamette Week headlined its story “Multnomah County GOP Chairman Sues Portland Public Schools Over Gun Control Protests,” intentionally leaving the impression that it was the GOP bringing the lawsuit. Nothing wrong with that if it were the truth, but it’s not.
It was also amusing to see the AP story about it, which included a quote from the District spokesman calling the lawsuit “baseless.”
Former Oregonian political-writer-turned “director of strategic communications and outreach” for PPS, Harry Esteve, sees it as “baseless” I suppose because to see it otherwise might encourage citizens to look at Buchal’s legal exhibits revealing Esteve’s latent and overt fingerprints all over this manufactured event.