A mother of two has filed a lawsuit after she was labeled a “threat” because she objected to her local elementary school’s promotion of being “polysexual” to young children.
Officials with the Thomas More Society say they filed the action in federal court in New Jersey on behalf of Angela Reading, a third-year law student, mother of two and member of her county’s regional board of education.
The claim charges “the police chief of North Hanover Township, acting in combination with military personnel from the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, coerced the removal of her Facebook post objecting to sexually explicit material posted in the hallway of a local elementary school to which her children were exposed.”
The defendants had portrayed her as a “security threat” and “reported her to various law enforcement and security agencies in an effort retaliate against her and make her afraid to speak in the future,” the legal team explained.
It was her November 2022 post on Facebook that was made in her capacity as a “private citizen,” explained Christopher Ferrara, special counsel at Thomas more Society.
“In it, she shared how she had attended an elementary school ‘math night’ the previous evening with her seven-year-old daughter, who after reading LBGT-affirming posters in the school’s entry, asked her mother what ‘polysexual’ meant. Mrs. Reading merely questioned why elementary children were being invited to research topics of sexuality, noting that it is not in the state educational standards nor the board of education approved curriculum. Mrs. Reading did not name names or schools, and invited respectful debate,” Ferrara said.
Then the smear began, the legal team reported.
“A military officer, U.S. Army Reserve Major Christopher Schilling, … emailed parents and school officials condemning her and her actions. Schilling, using his official military email account, then involved Joseph Vasquez, a U.S. Air Force civilian employee, who forwarded Reading’s post and Schilling’s claims to the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the New Jersey State Police in what Vasquez admitted were ‘hopes of getting an Incident Detection and Response sent to schools and police departments’ – meaning there would be a widespread law enforcement ‘threat’ alert regarding Reading based solely on her clearly protected speech,” the Thomas More Society explained.
Ferrara said the intention “to trigger a preposterous widespread law enforcement investigation and state of alarm over Mrs. Reading’s protected speech as if it were an ‘incident’ of potential, or even actual criminality, is a violation of Mrs. Reading’s civil rights.”
Soon, the society reported, members of the military, law enforcement and town officials not only censored her, but “create[d] a public fury specifically directed against Reading.”
And those actions violated her rights protected by the U.S. and state constitutions.
The actual result, the legal team said, was that she and her family were “demonized, harassed, traumatized, and excoriated throughout the community, forced to resign their school board positions, and having been made unwelcome, now feel they must seek costly alternative education for their children.”
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