FAC, ACLU Oppose Temecula School Board’s Attempt to Throw Out Public Interest Lawsuit 

FAC co-authored an amicus brief with the ACLU of Southern California in Mae M. v. Komrosky, a case challenging Temecula Valley Unified School Board policies that ban the teaching of “Critical Race Theory and other similar frameworks” and force teachers to out transgender and gender nonconforming students. 

After the case was filed, the school board filed an anti-SLAPP motion. SLAPP suits, or “Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation,” are lawsuits that are brought with the express intent of silencing protected speech and intimidating the speaker. In this instance,  the defendants wrongly insisted the lawsuit should be dismissed under the state’s anti-SLAPP law

In response, FAC and ACLU’s brief argues that the anti-SLAPP statute does not apply to the governmental act of adopting an official policy, nor is the statute implicated simply because board members’ statements may be relevant to prove discriminatory intent. Even if the statute otherwise applied, the motion would be barred by the public interest exception to the anti-SLAPP statute, which the Legislature adopted to prevent a chilling effect on public interest cases. 

The court denied the anti-SLAPP motion on February 15, 2024