Judicial Watch is currently part of a lawsuit on behalf of a high school football coach who was fired after he expressed concern over his daughter's history class and eventually removed his two children from the elementary and middle schools in the district.
David Flynn alleges that he was fired from his position as head football coach at Dedham High School after he told the school he was concerned about content in his daughter's seventh-grade history class in the same district.
"During the first week of school, Plaintiff and his wife observed that the instruction their daughter was receiving in 'World Geography and Ancient History I' was unrelated to the ancient history and world geography subjects described on the Dedham Public Schools website," according to the lawsuit. "Instead, the instruction concerned issues of race, gender, stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination, and politics, among others.
"In one assignment, Plaintiff's daughter was asked to consider various 'risk factors' and 'mitigating factors' that two people — one identified as 'white' and the other identified as 'black' — purportedly might use to assess each other on a city street. Included among the various factors were skin color, gender, age, physical appearance, and attire. 'Black,' 'aggressive body language' and 'wrong neighborhood' were among the 'risk factors' purportedly assessed by the person identified as 'white.' 'White' and 'Police officer' were among the 'risk factors' purportedly assessed by the person identified as 'black.'"
The suit was brought against DHS Principal Jim Forrest, DHS Director of Athletics Stephen Traister, and Dedham Public Schools Superintendent Michael Welch.
The lawsuit also says that a cartoon version of the instructor, called a "Memoji," was wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt, which Flynn and his wife took as support for the movement.
The couple reached out to their daughter's teacher and principal, but did not think that their concern had been fully addressed by the principal's response. They emailed Dedham Public Schools Superintendent Michael Welch, as well as three people on the Dedham School Committee. After a meeting with Welch, they sent an email to the same members of the school committee, which said:
"The Superintendent has had the opportunity to make sure the Dedham teachers conduct themselves as professionals and to teach the courses objectively and without biased opinions. He chose not to. I believe that the real men and women in the world are the ones who have the ability to compromise, especially in extremely controversial situations. Compromise allows people to experience life as a team. This is where unity brings individual pride together and relationships begin to strengthen. I believe all relationships are based on compromise. The Superintendent was not willing to compromise. I explained to him that if the teacher teaches the course objectively and removes the BLM logo from the class, people will soon get over the fact that the class was purposely created without notifying parents and without having a visible course curriculum, syllabus and learning objective. Apparently, it does not mean much to him that the Dedham Public School System is losing two wonderful students."
Flynn and his wife then removed their children from the school district. Flynn was told in January 2021 that the district was "going in a different direction" with the football program.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said that the firing was an example of "cancel culture."
"Coach Flynn was fired for exercising his constitutional rights to object as a citizen and father to an extremist and racially inflammatory school curriculum in his child's history class," Fitton said.