Summer heats up as hot button topic sparks lawsuit against East Penn School District 


Photo courtesy of East Penn School District.

Keira Davies, Staff Writer

On June 14, 2021, parents of Emmaus High School students filed a lawsuit against members of the Emmaus High School faculty. The lawsuit states that the plaintiffs, the Brophys, were discriminated against among other things. Currently, the lawsuit has been filed in the Lehigh Valley Court and is awaiting further action.

Black Lives Matter, police brutality, and white privilege are all topics that have been widely discussed this past year. When the Brophy’s found out their children were going to be examining these topics in school, they emailed Superintendent Kristen Campbell. The parents requested that their children be exempt from these conversations as the Brophys felt that the topics were anti-Christian and thus discriminated against their beliefs. The lawsuit states that the school district denied their request and their children suffered retaliation in the form of non-compliance with their Individualized Educational Plan.

This year has been hard on many due to the virtual learning environment. For some students with an IEP, it was especially challenging. The Brophys’ children were some of those students. The family claims that their child’s IEP states that they would not have to wear a mask due to an underlying medical issue. Also, their work would be printed out to reduce screen time. According to the court filing, the Brophy’s accuse the faculty at Emmaus High School of discriminating against their child by not abiding by the IEP as a result of the parent’s opposition to the religious discrimination. 

What happens after you file for a lawsuit? The first step is talking to an attorney so that they can determine whether you have a valid case. After talking with your attorney they will file the complaint with the court, a copy of the complaints is then sent to the defendants. The defendants can either file an answer to the complaint or make a counter-claim. After both parties have completed the pleading process they will then collect information to strengthen their case. The plaintiff and defendant will then share their side of the case during court. Once the judge or jury has decided the verdict either side can then challenge it to motion for a new trial. 

Tensions are rising between both sides as they await the next steps in the lawsuit. Depending on the outcome of this trial, it could have an impact on students and faculty of the East Penn School District.