Mother’s “Islamophobic” Remarks About School Board Member Yield Ban from School District Property
From Friday’s decision by Judge Lynn Adelman (E.D. Wis.) in Anderson v. Hansen:
[Heidi] Anderson is the mother of two children who attend schools within the Elmbrook School District. On August 11, 2020, the Elmbrook Board of Education held a public meeting to address the District’s procedures for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the measures under consideration was a requirement that all children attending school in person wear masks to minimize the transmission of the virus through respiratory droplets. Anderson attended the meeting in person and signed up to speak about the proposal.
Anderson opposes mask mandates in general, and she was against the District’s proposal to require children to wear masks at school. The Board allowed her to express her views during the time allotted for citizen comments about the proposal. She was given two minutes to speak. When she was called to the podium, she delivered remarks that lasted over eight minutes.
During her remarks, Anderson gave a variety of reasons for opposing the mask proposal. Some reasons related to her faith. Anderson is Christian, and she believes that wearing masks is inconsistent with the Christian faith. During her remarks, she expressed her view that “[s]ix-foot distance and masks are a Pagan ritual of Satanic worshipers.” She stated that because her family is Christian and does not practice Satanic worship, her children are not made to “stand six feet apart from each other with facial coverings.”
Towards the end of her remarks, Anderson turned her attention to Dr. [Mushir] Hassan, a medical doctor and school board member whom the Board had designated as its medical liaison:
“[Mrs. Anderson:] Dr. Mushar, and I hope I’m saying this correctly, you are not the right choice to be the Board liaison. You do not practice in infectious disease, you have political leaning contrary to the will of this district. You online state that you’re a big Obama fan and you comply mentally with his control philosophy, and you have publicly slammed our president Trump online. I’m finishing. As a leader in the Islamic community—
“[Interjection by School Board President:] Heidi, we have to avoid defamatory comments.
“[Mrs. Anderson:] This is not defamatory. I’m stating facts. [To Dr. Hassan:] You are a leader in the Islamic community are you not, and a leader on the Board—
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