On Friday, November 19, 2021, Pasadena Unified School District Board Member Tina Fredericks withdrew her lawsuit challenging PUSD Board protocols as unconstitutionally restricting her right of free expression.
By News Desk
The withdrawal followed the unanimous vote of the Board on Thursday, November 18, 2021, to change the challenged protocols to make them optional rather than obligatory.
Fredericks’ lawsuit arose from her advocating a vaccine mandate by PUSD. In July, she began urging that PUSD adopt a vaccine mandate, but a majority of the PUSD Board refused to put the discussion on the calendar. Fredericks began marshaling public pressure on the Board for a special meeting to vote for such a mandate; the public pressure included an op-ed, a press conference with Mayor Victor Gordo, a community petition to Board Members, and other outside activities.
Fredericks hired civil rights attorneys Dale Gronemeier and Elbie J. Hickambottom and demanded that the Board rescind its pre-publication restraints on outside expressive activities by Board members on the ground that such restraints violated her free speech, free petition, and free press constitutional rights. A lawsuit was filed by Fredericks on October 20, 2021.
On November 21, 2021, Fredericks stated that “The Board at last Thursday’s meeting made the protocols optional and thereby granted me all the relief I could get in court. My attorneys, who acted pro bono, probably could have gotten tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees, but they’ve agreed to forgo seeking them. As a result, there was no cost to PUSD. I’m pleased the Board has belatedly removed these unconstitutional restrictions, thereby protecting the constitutionally-protected expression rights of all PUSD present and future Board Members.”
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