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Week in Review: Bullied Students? Texas School Won’t Say.

December 10, 2022

A 13-year-old boy viciously bullied in Joshua, Texas. A mom who has questions. And a public school district that wants thousands of dollars in exchange for providing answers. It’s the latest example of parents’ rights being trampled, and the Goldwater Institute is once again stepping in to hold the district accountable.

Terrie Chumchal’s son has been bullied in school for two years, so she filed a public records request to see how often other children in the district were being bullied. But district officials said she would have to pay a whopping $7,111.12 in public records fees for simple numerical data. “When you start seeing the pattern here, it appears the district is discouraging people from asking for information. If the sort of cruel, horrific bullying that my son has been a victim of is a widespread issue, don’t parents deserve to know about it?” Terrie tells The Daily Wire. Now, a member of Goldwater’s American Freedom Network of pro bono attorneys is challenging this excessive fee with the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

Around the country, Goldwater is exposing school district secrecy by standing up for parents like Terrie. Goldwater’s OpenMyGovernment.org guide gives parents the tools they need to file effective public records requests, and AFN attorneys stand ready to help parents in every state access the information they’re entitled to.

Read more at In Defense of Liberty

Women Don’t Need the Government’s ‘Help’

It’s capitalism, not big government’s heavy hand, that empowers women to pursue their American Dream, Goldwater Institute Executive Vice President Christina Sandefur writes at Discourse Magazine.

Until the mid-20th century, discriminatory laws meant to “help” women curbed their participation in the workforce. “Women wanted to work, and people wanted to hire them. But the U.S. legal system relegated women to the roles male-dominated governments thought they should fill, ignoring their individual preferences,” Sandefur notes. Today, gender-based mandates are back in the form of sex-based employment quotas, compulsory paid parental leave, and restrictions on home-based businesses.

But there’s a better way: “Instead of pushing one-size-fits-all, top-down agendas, lawmakers can empower women by eliminating unnecessary and overreaching laws,” she explains. “Eliminating overreaching occupational licensing laws would make it easier for women to pursue the job of their choice. And getting rid of local rules that make it difficult or even criminal to work from home would remove senseless barriers to work that have fallen especially hard on working moms.”

Read more at Discourse Magazine.

Constitutional Shield or Government Sword?

California citizens who sue the government for violating their rights had better watch out, Goldwater Institute Vice President for Legal Affairs Timothy Sandefur writes in The Orange County Register. “Under a bizarre state law called ‘Anti-SLAPP,’ they risk being sued by the government for doing so.”

Property owners in Rancho Mirage, California, sued the city over a restrictive land-use ordinance, only for the city to respond by filing an “Anti-SLAPP” motion against them. (“SLAPP,” which stands for “strategic lawsuits against public participation,” refers to a situation in which one person sues another for doing something that he or she has a constitutional right to do.)

Many states have “Anti-SLAPP” laws, but Golden State courts have ruled that the government itself has free speech rights protected by the “Anti-SLAPP” statute. Of course, government has no rights at all, only powers given to it by the people. “By holding otherwise, California courts have transformed what was intended as a constitutional shield into a sword the government can use to threaten anyone who dares to stand up for their rights,” Sandefur adds. That’s why the Goldwater Institute filed a brief urging the judges in the case to straighten out this weirdly tangled law.

Read the rest in The Orange County Register

 

 

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