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Courts and Crime

Maine district sues a conservative activist for alleged bullying, false statements about a teacher

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Sawyer Loftus
/
Bangor Daily News
Shawn McBreairty addresses the RSU 22 board of directors during a meeting Nov. 17, 2021.

The Hermon School Department has filed suit against a conservative activist for allegedly bullying and harassing one of its teachers.

The district filed the lawsuit against Shawn McBreairty earlier this week. According to the complaint, McBreairty allegedly made false statements about a school employee in podcasts, on social media and in letters and emails, saying that the employee appeared to be "grooming children" and called her a "sexual predator" because of her work with LGBTQ students.

According to the suit, the attacks made the employee feel unsafe at school, led her classroom to be moved and caused emotional distress.

Melissa Hewey, an attorney representing the school district, said that constitutes bullying.

"This seemed, to the district, like the only option they had to provide this teacher with some relief from what's being said about her," Hewey said.

The lawsuit seeks to bar McBreairty from making future false statements against the employee.

"Mr. McBreairty is entitled to his opinion about what should be taught, and all of those things. But he cannot say false and hurtful things about school employees," Hewey said.

McBreairty has a history of criticizing school board members and educators in districts across Maine.

The Bangor Daily News reports that nearby RSU 22 banned McBreairty from its properties last week. McBreairty did not return a request for comment.