Lakeville parents file lawsuit against ISD 194 over black lives matter posters | KSTP.com

Lakeville parents file lawsuit against ISD 194 over black lives matter posters

Posters that are hung on the walls of Lakeville Public Schools. Photo: Courtesy of Lakeville Public Schools. Posters that are hung on the walls of Lakeville Public Schools.

Tommy Wiita
Updated: August 11, 2021 11:31 AM
Created: August 09, 2021 02:35 PM

Native American and white parents of multi-racial students at Lakeville Public Schools, alongside other Lakeville parents and students, have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the posting of black lives matter posters on school property, claiming the schools refuse to post divergent views such as all lives matter and blue lives matter posters.

The lawsuit is filed against Independent School District 194 and Superintendent Michael Baumann. The plaintiffs named in the suit include Bob and Cynthia Cajune, Kaylynn Kay Aker, Lion 194, and others who are not identified.

The lawsuit states black lives matter posters were posted on school property in response to input from some members of the Lakeville community. The suit was filed after the school refused the Cajunes' request that blue lives matter and all lives matter posters be posted. The school said their reasoning was the other two posters "were created specifically in opposition to black lives matter" and that those messages "effectively discount the struggle the Black students have faced in our school buildings and that Black individuals face in our society as a whole."

The lawsuit claims that this position is "false," stating it violates the First Amendment on viewpoint discrimination in the public square.

"Black lives matter, of course, but so do all other human lives. Posting 'BLM' signs and disallowing 'all lives matter' signs is political speech or viewpoint discrimination. Discriminating against or demeaning any race is not neutral and is wrong," Bob Cajune said in a statement.

Lakeville Area Schools issued the following statement on the matter Monday afternoon:

While we have not yet been served a complaint, it is our understanding that one was filed in United States District Court on August 6, 2021. We disagree with the claims made against Lakeville Area Schools and believe there is no legal basis for them.

At Lakeville Area Schools we strive to ensure the success of each and every student in our school community. We believe that each and every student has a state constitutional right to a public education that is equal, equitable and free of racism and harassment. We welcome all students and all perspectives. We are committed to creating inclusive and affirming school communities where every student experiences a strong sense of belonging and feels valued. 

To see the full court filing, click here or see below.


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