Activist mom lawyers up after school threatens defamation suit

Activist mom lawyers up after school threatens defamation suit

Activist mom lawyers up after school threatens defamation suit

A law firm has come to the defense of a mother-turned-activist who was warned by a public school district she could be sued for defamation after publicly claiming the school is exposing students to controversial reading materials.

According to the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, the Oconomowoc Area School District sent a May 13 cease-and-desist letter to Alexandra Schweitzer threatening her with a defamation lawsuit after she alleged that students are being exposed to explicit and controversial books and other reading materials.

Schweitzer leads a local chapter of the group No Left Turn in Education, a grassroots activist group that has gone to war with far-left school boards over “wokeness” in the classroom, and it appears in this instance she was criticizing the school district and its leaders in personal appearances and in emails to parents. 

After the Wisconsin mom sought counsel, Law and Liberty responded with a letter of its own to the school district’s attorneys, insisting that Schweitzer's public statements do not meet the legal standard for defamation and that her speech is protected by the First Amendment.

“We write to inform you,” Law and Liberty wrote back, “that our client will not be revoking any statements she has made…”

"We view it as not only a weak defamation claim against our client, Alexandra Schweitzer,” says WILL attorney Cory Brewer, “but an inappropriate use of taxpayer dollars to essentially bully a parent or community member, who has raised concerns, into silence.”

According to the school district’s letter, Schweitzer wrongly accused the district of allowing teachers to read explicit passages from the book The 57 Bus to eighth graders. She is also accused of making personal and untrue accusations about James Wood, the school board president, over his claim that inappropriate books are not available to students.

According to Law and Liberty, in its nine-page letter, Schweitzer was contacted by concerned parents about passages in The 57 Bus. That dispute is not even over whether the book is read in classrooms but what portions of it are read aloud by the teacher.

In its letter, the attorneys for the school district defended the book “for the purpose of critical thinking and writing craft.”  

Regarding students' access to inappropriate books, it appears the No Left Turn activist was concerned she was being tricked by the school district even after she received a list of library books available to students. Law and Liberty alleged that list did not include inappropriate books available on student-issued Chromebooks, an issue the mother had personally investigated, nor did the school district address any questionable and controversial books used by teachers in their own classrooms to indoctrinate students.

"If the school district wanted to silence me, they have failed," Schweitzer told Fox News. "School districts need to know that parents won’t back down and legal threats won’t deter us from looking out for our kids."