Today’s society expresses thought and opinion in a much different manner than that of our forefathers. Our public square is found most often on social media rather than the town hall or local newspapers. We create our accounts and then scroll through the feeds of those who speak the loudest, just as people years ago strolled through the marketplace listening to conversations of merchants, of shoppers, or the occasional protestor. Occasionally, we will respond in social media about an issue with a like or share of comments. This is not dissimilar to applauding and encouraging a speaker in the town square in the 18th century. Our Constitution with the 1st Amendment guaranteed freedom of speech to all Americans regardless of forum. However, many today are feeling that right is being stifled. Social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook routinely remove comments and ban users for what they deem inappropriate or disinformation. How can they do that based on our 1st Amendment rights? The answer comes down to Supreme Court rulings over the last 140 years that said that our protection was only from the government, not the private sector. Perhaps that decision needs to be reexamined.  

We are told that there are many reasons why posts or comments are removed from social media. What if one of those reasons is that federal government agencies are coordinating with social media giants to ensure that only specific information is allowed? According to internal communications from within the Center for Disease Control, that is exactly what happened with respect to skeptics and their comments on the Covid-19 vaccine. America First Legal, a group of legal, political, and strategic thinkers who work to challenge unconstitutional government overreach, obtained the documents which can be viewed in this article from the Washington Free Beacon. 

According to the article and linked documents, it is clear that there was coordination between a federal government agency and private corporations. The purpose of those efforts cannot be known for sure, but the effect was definitely the limiting of individual thoughts and words in the social media realm. It certainly appears as though at least one government agency used private companies as conduits to suppress public opinion, thought, and/or speech. If that “censuring” was emanating from the federal government, is that not an infringement of our 1st Amendment rights? Who will correct this wrong? It is our hope that America First Legal will continue its quest with legal challenges. We’ll be watching.

For the last few years we’ve heard about conflicts between parents and school boards regarding issues from masking to curriculum choices. Parents being labeled as domestic terrorists by the FBI for opposing mask and/or vaccine mandates simply caused greater tensions. However the Pennsbury Township School Board took things too far in June 2021.

Parents concerned over the school district’s equity policies spoke briefly during the public comment portion of the school board meeting before being shouted down and silenced by the solicitor for the board. An unedited clip of the meeting can be found here:  Solicitor shouts down parents.  Additionally, it was discovered that the school district edited statements from the official video recordings of two meetings in 2021. As a result, parents sued the district.

On July 14th the Pennsbury Township School Board voted to settle the 1st Amendment Lawsuit filed by parents.

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