The names of students and their parents who filed a lawsuit against a school in New Kensington, Pennsylvania over a Ten Commandments monument at the high school there will be allowed to retain their anonymity after a federal judge granted their motion to do so.
A federal judge will allow anonymity for three of the four people who are suing New Kensington-Arnold School District over its Ten Commandments monument.
Attorney Marcus B. Schneider, who represents the Freedom From Religion Foundation and two families who filed suit in September, recently asked U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry to allow the two children and one of the parents to continue to use the pseudonym “Doe” as the lawsuit proceeds…
“Due to the highly personal and sensitive religious matters involved, the age of the student-Plaintiffs, the (ill will) expressed by the public regarding the Plaintiffs and this case, harassing remarks about the Plaintiffs, and the potential for physical harm, Plaintiffs request an order permitting Doe 1, Doe 2, and Doe 3 to proceed under pseudonyms,” Schneider wrote on Nov. 21.
The article indicates that the school did not oppose the motion for anonymity, but their attorneys are apparently objecting to the fact that the judge’s order cited some of the hostile and threatening comments made on Facebook and elsewhere. Some of those comments:
• “Tell these (expletive) to go to hell and stay in Wisconsin and mind their own … business … .”
• “Maybe we should get that lady‘s phone number who is (a) participant in the lawsuit and have everybody call her and give he(r) our opinion.”
• “I‘m sure if we look up the (expletive) she probably has a facebook account or a facebook page for her ridiculous group and we can slam the (expletive) out of the (expletive).”
• “Have the families involved in the lawsuit been identified? I cannot believe anyone living in the community would participate in such a worthless cause. Someone needs to send that group back to Wisconsin with several black eyes.”
• “They are lucky it‘s not the 50‘s or 60‘s (or) they would be in deep (expletive).”
• “These people need drug onto the street and shot.”
But the school’s attorneys miss the point completely:
The district‘s attorneys wrote the Internet comments included in the court filings are “immaterial and inflammatory allegations pertaining to the alleged actions of third parties who are not officials or final policy makers of the District and are not before this Court.”…
“As this matter has garnered significant publicity, the inclusion of the immaterial and inflammatory allegations as well as the related attachments creates spurious issues that could potentially pollute a future trial,” Sanchez and Thompson wrote.
But they are directly relevant to the motion being considered. Do they expect the judge to suppress the evidence that supports his ruling on the motion? Just bizarre.