(Headline USA) Two Texas fathers who were arrested for speaking up at their local school board meetings filed a federal lawsuit this week alleging the school district violated their constitutional rights.
Jeremy Story, a father of four, and Dustin Clark, a father of seven, were arrested in September 2021 on one misdemeanor charge each of hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct.
The charge against Story was filed after an August 2021 Round Rock Independent School District board meeting in which Story attempted to raise concerns about Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez, whom the district had recently hired. Azaiez had previously been accused of trying to force his girlfriend to get an abortion and assaulting her when she refused.
But when Story brought up the accusations against Azaiez, then-board President Amy Weir cut him off and asked police officers to escort him out of the meeting.
The charge against Clark followed a September 2021 board meeting in which the school district allowed only 18 community members to attend the meeting. When Clark attempted to speak up about the board’s efforts to keep parents out of the meeting, police removed him.
Both fathers alleged in the lawsuit that the school district and its agents violated their rights to petition the government for redress and exercise free speech without retaliation.
“The overall trend is basically a conspiracy among many of them to remove and restrain the civil rights of citizens whom they disagree with,” Story told Fox News.
“They ultimately have gone to great lengths to silence parents who disagree with them and ultimately to conceal their own malfeasance.”
Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, a spokeswoman for the school district, said it had not yet been served with the suit and declined comment.
Story said he hopes the lawsuit will become a “landmark case to reverse the loss of parental rights across the country and to give parents a voice back in their kids’ education.”
“We want our public education system to simply educate our children and when we send our children to the public school, we are not submitting to be co-parents with the federal government,” he added.