C|M|LAW Assistant Professor Joseph Mead undertook pro bono representation of a former public school teacher who was removed from his position because a dairy farmer from the community complained about the school teacher’s vegan advocacy on Facebook. In a letter to the school district, Professor Mead explained that the district’s action violates the guarantee to freedom of speech contained in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The letter demanded that the teacher be immediately reinstated, arguing that “Urging people to drink soy milk on Facebook is not a fireable offense” and “forcing those who teach future citizens to relinquish their citizenship rights has no support in law or policy.” Professor Mead, who holds a joint appointment with the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, previously litigated constitutional cases for the United States Department of Justice, and is handling this case in cooperation with the ACLU of Ohio.
A copy of the letter can be accessed here. Professor Mead was recently interviewed about this case; the interview and a news story about the case are available here. Several other local and Chicago-based news and media outlets have picked up this story (available here, here and here).