CAIR Files Lawsuit Against Board of Education Challenging The Suspension/Investigation of Three MCPS Teachers

Courtesy of CAIR

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization, today held a press conference in its Maryland office in Baltimore to announce the filing of a complaint challenging the suspension and investigation of three Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) teachers for their speech on Palestine.

CAIR’s complaint states in part:

“The teachers expressed themselves in the same ways they and their colleagues had about other topics. Whether online or in school, teachers have long been allowed to express their views on a range of public topics–from racial justice to the war in Ukraine–as the First Amendment requires. But through these suspensions, the Board of Education and MCPS are pursuing an illegal, Israel-specific, viewpoint-suppression policy it has not adopted for any other matter of public concern.”

The complaint further points out that “by removing three teachers from their classrooms, the Board of Education and MCPS officials have prioritized their ideological quest to eliminate a common viewpoint–for a ceasefire…from the ranks of their teachers.”

READ THE FULL COMPLAINT

“The actions by the Board and by MCPS officials have been thinly veiled attempts to accomplish one mission: removing teachers who express support for the Palestinian people from the classroom,” said CAIR Attorney Rawda Fawaz. “This is a despicable bid to silence opinions they don’t agree with, control employees’ personal expression, and smear the reputations of any who dares advocate for basic rights and dignity for Palestinians.”

“The suspension and investigation of these teachers, while overlooking countless instances of expression on other social and political causes, sets a dangerous precedent of selective censorship within our educational institutions,” said CAIR Staff Attorney Zanah Ghalawanji. “No teacher should fear punishment for peacefully advocating for their beliefs, regardless of the topic. We call on the Montgomery County Board of Education to uphold the values of inclusivity and diversity by respecting the rights of all educators to engage in open dialogue without fear of reprisal.”

The full press release can be seen here.

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