Texas School System Backs Down and Accepts U.S. Constitution After Citizens Defending Freedom Letter
LEANDER, Texas – In a win for liberty, Leander ISD has decided to accept the U.S. Constitution just in time for Constitution Week. This comes after the school system rejected a non-profit donation of 4,000 pocket constitutions saying, “The materials contain advertisements that would prevent the district from maintaining a position of neutrality on political or religious issues or would create an appearance of favoritism on political or religious issues.” according to Leander ISD School & Community Relations Coordinator Heather Neds.
After receiving Neds' response on Thursday September 14th, Citizens Defending Freedom (CDF) General Legal Counsel Jonathan Hullihan promptly addressed LISD’s rejection. In a letter sent to Leander Independent School District Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D, Hullihan pointed out the school system’s rejection of the U.S. Constitution is, in and of itself, a suppression of the very rights given to us by our Creator and outlined in the U.S. Constitution. Hullihan also wrote, “The pocket Constitutions do not convey or endorse a particular political message, viewpoint, or advertisement. On the contrary, the pocket size versions of our foundational documents are simply to be used as an educational resource, in furtherance of informing future generations on the importance of preserving our Constitution and fostering an appreciation for our nation. In fact, LISD is the only school district in Williamson County that has outright rejected the pocket Constitutions for distribution in support of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day and Texas Celebrate Freedom Week.”
Superintendent Gearing quickly changed course in his response to Hullihan. “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Upon investigation and consultation with our general counsel, we have determined that there was some internal confusion and misapplication of district policy. Your client’s pamphlets will be made available to students, consistent with the time, place and manner restrictions of Policy GKA(LOCAL) Distribution of Non-School Literature. I apologize for any confusion or misunderstanding.”
Citizens Defending Freedom is keeping school districts accountable to the federal requirements to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution on September 17 each year (Tex. Educ. Code § 29.907 and Tex. Admin) and follow Code §74.33 that requires Texas public schools acknowledge Celebrate Freedom week and conduct appropriate instruction concerning the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.
Jonathan Hullihan is happy to see LISD reconsider its position, “We are thankful to Leander ISD for correcting this matter prior to Texas Celebrate Freedom Week and Constitution Day. I am hopeful that there are some lessons learned on this issue. We live in a strange time in American history when the US Constitution is viewed as divisive political speech and subjected to viewpoint discrimination. I would like to see our public discourse move back towards respecting everyone’s right to express their opinions under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, even if we disagree with opinions that may not be our own.”
About Citizens Defending Freedom:
Founded in 2021, Citizens Defending Freedom is a non-profit organization that strategically employs county-level chapters across America to help citizens defend their faith and freedom, all while fighting for transparency in local government. Currently, Citizens Defending Freedom has official chapters in Florida, Georgia and Texas. The group is rapidly expanding its footprint, and expects to grow into one of America’s largest political nonprofits. Click here to learn more about Citizens Defending Freedom.