Protect Williamson County Educators’ Free Speech

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When Williamson County educators gathered in a public park after school hours to discuss school board policies, they never dreamed that they would be intimidated and harassed by school board members just for exercising their protected free speech rights.

Yet that is exactly what happened.

Some six months after the meeting, an altered audio recording was circulated to media, leading to false allegations that the meeting was mandatory and took place on school grounds during school hours. A quick investigation, had one occurred, would have cleared the matter up.

Instead, school board members retaliated, reportedly threatening the educators with disciplinary action, including discharge; going to the school where they worked and demanding to speak with administrators; and engaging a private law firm to investigate, at public expense. The law firm interrogated two of the educators individually for nearly four hours, asking irrelevant, invasive personal questions. They were also asked to name meeting participants and who said what. The law firm has requested interviews with two additional teachers.

ACLU-TN has sent a letter demanding that the school board stop retaliating against the educators.

Tell the Williamson County School Board: Call off the politically-motivated witch hunt against people who were simply exercising their protected free speech rights.

Williamson County School Board Members:
Educators in the Williamson County school system have a protected First Amendment right to discuss matters of public concern, including the actions of the Williamson County School Board and its members.
We demand that you stop retaliatory efforts to chill the free speech of Williamson County educators immediately.