Four parents have continued public schools in Portland, Oregon, following accusations that the district had manipulated and coerced its 50,000 students into participating in last year's walkouts, calling for action against gun violence.
National walkouts were held in March 2018. It was a month after the shooting that killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, making this massacre one of the deadliest in US history. .
Families' lawsuit in US district court Wednesday accuses Portland public schools of using district resources to support gun control and create "coercive atmosphere in schools [the students of the families suing] under duress to participate in March 14 demonstrations and other firearms activities. "
The allegedly anti-gun atmosphere violated student rights to the First Amendment and constituted a "political mobilization of Portland schoolchildren," according to the lawsuit.
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James Buchal – Republican Party President in Multnomah County, which includes Portland – filed the lawsuit on behalf of four parents, reports Willamette Week. Buchal is also a lawyer.
The prosecutors were forced to subsidize the walkouts with their taxes, said the trial.
"Many Americans believe that the right to keep and bear arms is the most important of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution," the lawsuit says, adding that prosecuting parents "fall into this group".
In addition to reasonable attorney fees, the prosecution is seeking a "permanent injunction prohibiting" Portland public schools from promoting an anti-gun program and "creating periods during which students can participate in unmarked political protests." absent from class ".
The school district called the accusations of unfounded families, the Oregonian reports.
"We believe that the claims made in the lawsuit are unfounded," district spokesman Harry Esteve said, according to Oregonian.
Buchal accused everyone from the teachers to the school board of wrongdoing, according to KGW.
"A highly misleading propaganda, coupled with the emotional manipulation of Portland's 50,000 schoolchildren, has enabled PPS to create a political theater designed to manipulate public opinion and pressure elected officials to prohibit firearms, "said Buchal.
The lawsuit also revealed that schools had done their best to accommodate students who were coming out to demand measures against gun control. [the district] anti-firearms students. "
Esteve said the school will now have to use resources to fight the lawsuit, reports KGW.
"And what's really disappointing is that when a trial is like this, we have to spend a lot of time, a lot of resources in the justice system, rather than using those resources to educate our students," said Esteve. KGW.