Published October 28, 2022
Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER) worked with local parents and community members in a successful initiative which blocked the Hate Speech Resolution during the last board meeting on October 13th at the San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD).
I have some exciting news to share with you! Recently, CFER worked with local parents, community members and legal advocates to facilitate a successful initiative for free speech. Our effort helped block the Hate Speech Resolution at a school board meeting in the San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD)!
After learning about the proposal, CFER first blew the whistle on the corrosive and anti-free-speech nature of the resolution through an action alert that went out to the community. We then connected two parents with an attorney specializing in free speech cases. Subsequently, a formal letter threatening legal action was sent to the SDUHSD Board.
The official letter, requested by CFER, correctly pinpointed the legal risks of regulating speech:
“The phrase ‘Hate Speech’ may be a satisfying label to apply to opposing viewpoints but it is not a legal term of any significance and the Supreme Court has consistently struck down ‘Hate Speech’ regulations much more carefully drawn than Board Member Young’s resolution… The Board enters a First Amendment minefield by adopting these recommendations.”
The combination of timely policy monitoring, grassroots organizing and legal advocacy ensures the warranted failure of the resolution.
The SDUHSD Board made the right decision to protect the U.S. Constitution and free speech by rejecting the hate speech proposal supported by two union-backed school board trustees Katrina Young and Julie Bronstein.
More importantly, parents and community members who become involved and speak up at local school board meetings have proactively advanced our liberal democracy. Their constitutional right to freely express opposing viewpoints must be safeguarded against the illiberal impulse to censor, regulate, and penalize what they have to say.
In addition to promoting the school board to reevaluate the policy proposal and vote in favor of free speech, our effective initiative has also raised public awareness on how an unconstitutional proposal to police public speech can lead to viewpoint discrimination and chill public participation.
For the last two years, CFER has developed a track record of effectively advancing equality and freedom through local organizing, legal advocacy, policy monitoring, rigorous research and media outreach. This latest victory adds to our growing record and encourages us to keep at it! However, many of these proven actions don't come without any cost. While I hope you are also encouraged by our success and if you are, can I please ask you to make a kind contribution to CFER today to help offset the legal and other costs that added to our important work?
About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER):We are a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop. 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment.