Local vice principal sues Central Valley for punishing him over political Facebook posts

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SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash – A longtime employee of the Central Valley School District is suing his employer, saying he was disciplined over political Facebook posts.

Randey Thompson filed the federal lawsuit Tuesday. As of Tuesday afternoon, Central Valley Schools had no comment about the claims.

The lawsuit names the school district, Superintendent Ben Small and members of the Central Valley School District as defendants. Thompson claims his First Amendments Rights were violated and he was retaliated against.

Thompson says he’s been employed by CVSD for more than 30 years. Between August 2019 and June 2021, he was the assistant principal at Evergreen Middle School.

The lawsuit says that, after watching the Democratic National Convention on TV in August 2020, Thompson sent out a “purely political and private post on his personal Facebook account.” The post, attached to the lawsuit, shows Thompson referring to former First Lady Michelle Obama as a “hateful racists [sic] bitch.” He says “Wake the f** up America” (though the entire f-word is used.) He also says “You are being played by a fake media, athleats [sic] and performers (who are really clueless and flyers with pedophile man)”.

His post about what he calls the “Demtard convention” continues “You are missing out on a great country and the rest of us are sick and tired of your act and going to take you to the woodshed for a proper education. May God help you pull your heads out of your asses so we will not have to. Time for the red tide.”

Thompson says the posts were made on his own personal device, not during school hours. He said the post was “sent to only approximately a dozen selected close Facebook friends.”

Thompson received notice from the school district two days later that he was being placed on administrative leave for allegations of “unprofessional conduct,” according to the lawsuit.

Thompson says a former colleague received the post and sent a screenshot without his permission.

“What immediately occurred next was a vicious attack and character assassination against Mr. Thompson and his reputation, as well as an attack on the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the right of a citizen to express protected political speech and expression on a matter of public concern.”

Thompson says he was disciplined even though he says the “school district has refused to identify any student, parent or co-worker at Evergreen Middle School who was somehow offended by the political statement.”

Thompson says he was put on leave for the entire school year. He then says he received notice on May 17, 2021 that he was being demoted to a teaching position. He then appealed to the school board, which upheld the decision.

Thompson’s suit says that has suffered substantial economic damages, as well as “personal humiliation and emotional distress.”

He wants a court to grant him not only damages but also have his position as assistant principal restored.