Obama judge orders teachers to pay $300,000 for opposing forced diversity training

 April 14, 2023

Although it has been more than six years since former President Barack Obama left the White House, he continues to have an impact on the nation.

That was evident this week when a liberal, Obama-appointed judge ordered a pair of teachers to pay over $300,000 for opposing their school district's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) mandate.

Teachers forced to place themselves in an "oppression matrix"

According to Fox News, Brooke Henderson and Jennifer Lumley are two Missouri teachers who objected to the DEI training required by their school district.

They said that educators were forced to place themselves in an "oppression matrix" as well as disclose personal information that they preferred to keep private.

"If we believed in a colorblind America, [it told us] that we are White supremacists, and it really just felt like there was no hope and that the wheels had come off the bus of what our job as educators was," Henderson said of the accompanying material.

Henderson noted how in addition to teachers, the school district also subjected bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodial crew members, teachers, and all other employees to the training.

Plaintiff's ordered to pay school district's legal fees

She explained to Fox News host Ashley Strohmier that the required training materials categorized her as "racist" simply because of her status as a white woman.

Fox News noted that Henderson and her co-plaintiff filed a lawsuit in which they asked that the school district's training be declared unconstitutional.

However Judge Douglas Harpool not only ruled against the teachers but ordered them to pay the school district $313,000 to cover its legal fees.

The teachers are being represented by the Southeastern Legal Foundation, and its general counsel called Harpool's ruling "absolutely excessive."

"The point of it is to chill speech"

"The point of it is to chill speech," attorney Kimberly Herman told Fox News. "This is a First Amendment case in the first place where our clients were required to attest and affirm to ideas they just simply don't believe in."

Herman said her clients "believe that America should be colorblind," stressing, "They believe that they should not have to look at the color of the student's skin, and that's all that they were fighting for."

The lawyer went on to add that her clients plan to appeal Harpool's decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

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