Chatham Mom Files Federal Lawsuit Against Chatham School District, BOE for Promotion of Islam

Libby Hilsenrath, Chatham Middle School mother, at Chatham Board of Education meeting last year when she objected to the emphasis on teachings of Islam Credits: Tomas More Law Center

CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Middle School mother, Libby Hilsenrath, is the plaintiff, along with her minor child, federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday that names The School District of the Chathams, the Board of Education, the Chatham Middle School principal and teachers as defendents, claiming a violation of constitutional rights.

Hilsenrath's issue with the school district first came up in public when she questioned the emphasis on the teaching of Islam in a "World Cultures and Geography Class" at the Feb. 6, 2017 Chatham Board of Education meeting.

The suit was filed on behalf of Hilsenrath and her minor child by the Thomas More Law Center, a non-profit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich. The introduction to the suit is stated below. To read the full legal document CLICK HERE. The article posted on the Thomas More website can be found HERE.

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1. This action seeks to enforce the protections afforded by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

2. Defendants assailed the First Amendment, despite the opposition of Plaintiff, by forcing children to endure the promotion of Islam in their public schools, including an explicit and direct call to the children for conversion to the religion of Islam.

3. Plaintiff brings this civil rights action under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

4. Plaintiff seeks a declaration that the Defendants violated clearly established constitutional and statutory rights; a permanent injunction barring the Defendants from continuing the acts, policies, practices, customs, and procedures that violate the rights of Plaintiff, her son, and other school children as set forth in this Complaint; and a judgment awarding nominal damages for the loss of these constitutional and statutory rights. Plaintiff also seeks an award of the reasonable costs of litigation, including attorneys’ fees and costs, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 and other applicable law.



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