Parents Sue NYC Education Leaders For Punishing Conservatives

Three parent leaders in New York City have filed a lawsuit against education officials who they say have been punishing conservatives who will not bow to left-wing ideologies.

Deborah Alexander, Maud Maron and Noah Harlan sued President Tajh Sutton and Vice President Marissa Manzanares of the Community Educational Council for District 14 (CEC 14), alleging that the officials have used their power to assert dominance and infringe upon the liberties of the parents who disagree with their political beliefs.

David Banks, the Chancellor of New York Public Schools (NYPS) and Nina Mickens, the NYPS equity and compliance officer, are also listed as defendants in the federal lawsuit, filed on March 26.

“CEC 14 leaders have punished and chilled the speech of individuals who do not conform to the personal political views of the board’s leaders,” reads a March 27 press release from the Institute for Free Speech, which filed the complaint on behalf of the parents. The nonprofit legal group added in its announcement of the lawsuit that the city’s Department of Education (DOE) Regulation D-210 is responsible for “aiding” the defendants in their discriminatory practices.

This regulation “governs the speech of CEC members,” according to the group, and allows “anyone” to file complaints about speech that is considered “offensive or disrespectful” by others. Such complaints lead to investigations of members, holding the potential for their removal from their positions, and may be brought up based on speech that takes place separately from CEC meetings.

Alexander, Maron and Harlan are each under investigation, seemingly for the sole reason of opposing the left-wing views of CEC 14 and its leaders. Conservative opinions on matters related to the Israel and Hamas war and boys competing in girls’ sports are among the controversial issues brought up in the investigations. Both Alexander and Harlan have been kicked out of member meetings and forbidden from following CEC 14’s official X account.

According to The Blaze, Sutton has a history of promoting left-wing agendas including Black Lives Matter and radical COVID-19 policies in schools. Similarly, Manzanares has followed suit, becoming the second top official in CEC 14 to apparently dissent against conservatives and crack down on those who do not adopt the same liberal mindset.