By Katie Kresly
From Boston to Bellevue, dozens of concerned parents and groups have been reaching out in support of James Payne who served the Highline School District with a federal civil rights lawsuit on April 19th. Payne’s story quickly went viral, reaching thousands of views, shares and likes across the country on Facebook, Twitter and Burien-News.com.
Community support has included advice, funding, more school-related photos, and synchronization with other parent groups. Also valuable were new media connections, which resulted in an interview with local talk-radio host, Ari Hoffman (570 KVI) which aired on April 28th.
A few of the Puget Sound parents who read about the lawsuit explained how they have been able to successfully remove offensive signage from their child’s school by working with their school board or principal. Unfortunately, many parents have not experienced similar success, so they are watching this lawsuit closely, in hopes that it will create a “neutralizing” policy in Highline, removing all political and agenda-driven posters and lessons.
According to the legal action, the union-sponsored LGBTQ+ posters, mandatory BLM-style rallies and other “Instruction on Race and Identity” lessons that teach “hate” and “division” are just some examples of the illegal political activism Highline has engaged in.
Over the course of a year, Mr Payne repeatedly asked the Highline School District to remove “manifestly political propaganda” in the learning environment. Seeing that his pleas were ignored, he served a Cease and Desist order to the Highline Public Schools. Finally, finding no remedy or removal of the posters that promoted “quasi-religious causes”, he served the district with a lawsuit on April 19, 2023.
Mr. Payne does not wish to impose his beliefs on anyone, nor does he “hate” anyone depicted in the propaganda. He only wishes to prevent the district’s educators and teachers from imposing their unnecessarily confusing and age-inappropriate ideological views on the children of Highline.
This lawsuit intends to shine a light on Highline’s repeated constitutional infringement, and halt the damaging district practices which continue to trample the civil rights of students, parents and teachers.
If you would like to support or contact James Payne, here is his Go Fund Me page.
You can also help by sending photos of school-sanctioned propaganda in your child’s school to email@example.com.