A teacher and a parent of a New Hope student have filed a federal lawsuit against the York City school board and its members, claiming their constitutional rights were violated during a meeting earlier this month.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday by teacher Cal Weary and parent Shannon Garcia, claims the board did not allow attendees to discuss New Hope during public comment at the March 19 meeting and that anyone under the age of 18 was barred from addressing the board.
"The law's quite simple ... when (meetings are) opened up for public comment, you can't keep someone from commenting," said Sean Summers, one of two attorneys representing Weary and Garcia.
Allegations: Garcia attempted to discuss comments made by Margie Orr, president of the school board, about New Hope students but was cut off by board solicitor Jeff Gettle, who said her comments were a personal attack on Orr.
Weary, head of New Hope's performing arts program, also attempted to address the board but was told by Orr that he couldn't because he did not fill out a form before the meeting, according to the lawsuit.
Reached by phone Tuesday night, Orr declined comment, saying, "I haven't seen the lawsuit that's been filed, so I can't comment."
Other lawsuits: The lawsuit is the latest filed against the district over New Hope.
New Hope supporters are fighting to keep the school open after the school board decided in 2012 not to renew its charter. A state appeals board backed the board's decision, but supporters are appealing.
About 70 parents and students filed a federal lawsuit in February alleging their constitutional rights were violated by the board.
Montez Parker, a parent of two New Hope students, filed a lawsuit in the York County Court of Common Pleas claiming the board violated the Sunshine Act, which guarantees residents and taxpayers "a reasonable opportunity" to comment at public meetings, during the March 19 meeting.
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