Multnomah County Republican Party Chairman James Buchal announced that he has filed suit on behalf of Portland parents with students in the Portland Public Schools (PPS) for violations of their First Amendment rights arising from the massive anti-gun demonstrations PPS organized a year ago. "Every parent with children in the Portland Public Schools should download and read a copy of the Complaint (available here)," said Buchal, "because it demonstrates the extraordinary degree to which PPS officials have misused scarce educational resources for narrowly partisan and political objectives." The suit is based on thousands of documents recovered through a Public Records Act request made to PPS shortly after the demonstrations.  (Exhibits to the Complaint are available here (Exhibits 1-21), here (Exhibits 22-37), and here (Exhibits 38-51).)

The documents released by PPS demonstrate that the District organized and promoted partisan, anti-gun positions on a massive scale, with close coordination between the School Board, the Superintendent, the Portland Association of Teachers, outside anti-gun groups and even local anti-gun politicians. Highly misleading propaganda, coupled with emotional manipulation of 50,000 Portland schoolchildren, allowed PPS to create political theater designed to manipulate public opinion and pressure elected officials to ban guns.

The lawsuit claims that forcing parents to subsidize this conduct through their taxes 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.

Plaintiffs’ complaint contains documentary evidence of numerous remarkable facts about the anti-gun protests that have not previously been reported, including:

  • Through personal meetings and memoranda, Superintendent Guerrero commanded every PPS principal to ensure that demonstrations would occur (¶¶ 36-37)
  • Schools reprogrammed the bell system to create a special protest period so no student needed to be marked absent (¶ 44)
  • School communication systems and resources were mobilized to spread anti-Second Amendment propaganda from outside anti-gun groups (¶¶ 22-23, 57)
  • Administrators made efforts to groom and cultivate particular students to act as leaders for the protests (¶ 42)
  • In violation of formal PPS policy (¶ 80), high school students were told they did not need parent permission to walk out of classes and participate (¶ 45)
  • Even elementary school students were mobilized to spend up to a month in special “persuasive writing” projects to pursue the Leftist agendas of PPS personnel (¶ 61)
  • Even special needs children were mobilized to carry anti-Second Amendment placards without knowing why (¶ 48)

Portland parents are invited to contact the MCRP Office if they wish to share other stories of ongoing political indoctrination in the Portland schools, or simply post them below.

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  • Katherin Kirkpatrick
    commented 2019-03-21 00:20:34 -0700
    I find it interesting that commenters have complained that this suit “wastes” taxpayer money. They seem unaware that the suit seeks no money (save the cost of filing). The District could make this go away today by simply (a) producing the public records that the District took plaintiff’s money in return for; and (b) complying with the First Amendment.

    Unfortunately, the District is happy to continue wasting school resources to defend its waste of school resources. Which is what makes court intervention necessary, since the cycle of partisan waste shows no sign of stopping of its own accord.
  • Carol Leek
    commented 2019-03-14 11:44:14 -0700
    Good job Mr. Buchel. We need more like you, with guts, in the ORP. Thank you for all you do.