Parents, residents sue to place ‘All Lives Matter’ or ‘Blue Lives Matter’ posters in school

Group petitions judge to either bar Black Lives Matter posters from Minnesota school district or make space for those bearing messaging that represents additional viewpoints. 

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A group of parents and residents are suing the Lakeville Area School District in Minnesota over the distribution of Black Lives Matter posters in schools. 

The Star Tribune is reporting that the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit include locals Kalynn Aaker, Bob and Cynthia Cajune and several others who filed anonymously. Several plaintiffs chose to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals from Black Lives Matter activists. The lawsuit alleges that BLM advocates have blocked the complainants from entering school board meetings.  

Black Lives Matter sign, theGrio.com
A group of Minnesota parents and residents sues to either bar Black Lives Matter posters from school district or make space for posters bearing messaging that represents additional viewpoints. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

According to Yahoo, some of the plaintiffs initially sued in August 2021 in U.S. District Court claiming the district violated their free speech rights and civil rights by not allowing “All Lives Matter” and “Blues Lives Matter” messages to also be prominently displayed on school campuses.

In January, a judge dismissed the case because Aaker’s daughter no longer attended Lakeville Elementary School. That daughter, Novalee, was 9 in May 2021 when her condemnation of the school board for displaying BLM posters at her former elementary school went viral.

In this latest lawsuit, Aaker’s other children — who currently attend Lakeview district schools — are also listed as plaintiffs, the Star Tribune reported.

Yahoo reports that the suit states that in September 2020, then-Superintendent Michael Baumann directed teachers not to display BLM posters in their classrooms. 

In the spring, however, the district ordered two BLM posters — among other “inclusive” posters — then distributed them to staff members who requested them, noting that they were meant to “support staff in creating school communities where students are respected, valued and welcome.”

The suit further states that when Bob Cajune requested the display of ALM or Blue Lives Matter posters, Equity Director Lydia Linsoe denied his request. Her reasoning was that the messaging on these posters was “created specifically in opposition to Black Lives Matter” and “discount the struggle” of Black students and others in the country.

The lawsuit petitions the judge to prohibit the district from displaying BLM posters, or provide equal space to posters bearing messaging that represent the viewpoints of the plaintiffs.

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