A citizen was silenced during a recent West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board meeting last week, when the board president prevented the citizen, who was objecting to LGBTQ+ curriculum being taught in schools, from continuing to speak, according to the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty.
On March 27, 2023, Steve Broadwell, a retired resident of the district, spoke during a School Board public forum to express concerns about a suggested LGBTQ+ curriculum. Shortly after Broadwell began speaking, board president Noah Leigh stopped Broadwell from speaking, and accused him of using “hate speech,” WILL says.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) has stepped in and written a letter to the School Board accusing the board of violating the first amendment rights of citizens.
In a press release, WILL said, “Today, in support of the First Amendment rights of citizens who speak up at school board meetings, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) rebuked the West Allis-West Milwaukee (WAWM) School Board for blatantly violating a citizen’s freedom of speech.”
“What occurred during that public meeting clearly violated the First Amendment rights of citizens. Unfortunately, this tactic of silencing parents and taxpayers at local meetings is not an isolated incident. In our letter, we urge the WAWM School Board, namely Board President Noah Leigh, to reconsider its policy of silencing community members who provide public comments at school board meetings the Board does not like. Mr. Broadwell deserves an apology from the Board.”
WILL Deputy Counsel Dan Lennington said, “The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech—period. WILL is speaking out and advising all school boards to embrace and protect the First Amendment, rather than shutting down speech it finds uncomfortable.”
WILL Letter to West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board President Noah Leigh
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