EXCLUSIVE: A Georgia mother and substitute teacher is suing her school district after she was fired for expressing her religious beliefs, asking her children to be excused from a reading hour that contradicted with her religion.
Lindsey Barr was a substitute teacher at Bryan County Schools, where her children also attended school. During a library reading program, students were read the book “All Are Welcome,” which Barr said included photos that contradicted her religious beliefs.
Barr spoke to the principal of the school about the book, and asked that her children be excused from the reading hour. According to the lawsuit, within hours, Barr was locked out of the online system she used to request substitute teacher assignments. Shortly after, she was notified that her children would be excused from the reading hour.
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“The public schools have no business pushing radical ideology on our students, especially the youngest of our students,” Barr told Fox News Digital. “They have no business doing that.”
According to the lawsuit, Heather Tucker, the principal of McCallister Elementary School, told Barr that her concern over the book “revealed biases that raised a question whether she could support every child.”
“Because of her speech, Defendant Tucker terminated Lindsey from substitute teaching at MES,” the lawsuit said. Barr did not receive anything in writing informing her of her termination as a substitute teacher, but remains unable to access the account that allows her to obtain substitute positions within the district, according to the lawsuit.
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In September, Alliance Defending Freedom sent the school a letter, explaining how the district’s actions violated Barr’s rights, and demanding “Bryan County immediately reinstate Mrs. Barr so she can resume working as a substitute teacher.”
The school did not respond to the letter, or reinstate Barr, and Alliance Defending Freedom filed on her behalf Friday.
“The First Amendment clearly prohibits BCS from engaging in ‘viewpoint discrimination,’ or the punishment of speech where ‘the opinion or perspective of the speaker’ is the rationale for the punishment,” the lawsuit reads.
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“It’s pretty clear that public schools can’t fire teachers for expressing concern about their kids education,” Tyson Langhofer, senior counsel and Director of the Center for Academic Freedom at Alliance Defending Freedom, told Fox News Digital. “No parent should ever be fired as a teacher simply because they exercised their right as a parent.”
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Barr said she also feared a “slow retaliation” against her children. “[I’m afraid that] my children will be passed over for opportunities, and things like that,” she said.
Langhofer advised parents, like Barr, who are concerned about books, and curriculum, to “get educated” and “make your voices heard.”
“Know that the school cannot retaliate against you or your child, simply for you exercising your first amendment right to speak, and your Constitutional right to parent your children.”
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“It’s important for school boards to know parents are fed up with school boards focusing on indoctrinating their children than educating them,” Langhofer added.
The lawsuit was filed Friday against Tucker, the director of human resources at Bryan County Schools, the superintendent of Bryan County Schools and the assistant superintendent of teaching and learning at Bryan County Schools, all who were involved in Barr’s firing.
Source: Fox News