Whether you voted for Maia or not, and regardless of your political party, we are ALL united in our effort to fight CSE in our schools. We couldn’t wait for a press release to share the good news regarding the lawsuit Chris Reykdal brought against competitor Maia Espinoza.
The incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal, alleged that the statements Espinoza made in her voter pamphlet write-up asserting that he championed a policy teaching sexual positions to 4th graders, were false. He won a preliminary lawsuit filed in his home county. However, this afternoon the WA State Supreme Court found that Maia’s statement were accurate and will they be restored to the voter pamphlet.
We are thrilled that the Supreme Court saw through the game played by the OSPI. The OSPI, and by default Chris Reykdal, is 100% accountable for everything expressed within a curriculum they review, whether it is presented directly or indirectly via recommendations or supplemental materials. That should be obvious to everyone, and today, the Courts agreed.
Court rules in lawsuit challenging voter guide statement
SEATTLE (AP) — The state Supreme Court has ruled against state schools chief Chris Reykdal, who sued his reelection opponent, Maia Espinoza, for defamation.
The Seattle Times reports that in her official voter guide statement, Espinoza claimed Reykdal championed a policy that taught sex positions to fourth graders. Before the primary, and in response to Reykdal’s initial suit, a Thurston County Superior Court judge said the statement was false, and ordered it stripped from the guide. Espinoza appealed directly to the state’s highest court.
The decision this week reverses the lower court’s July ruling in favor of Reykdal, and orders the secretary of state to republish Espinoza’s unedited statement on its website, and in voter guide materials distributed for the general election, should Espinoza advance. Friday results from the Aug. 4 primary showed her in the top two, with Reykdal.
The lower court ruling contended Espinoza’s statement was false, and that Reykdal would likely prevail in a defamation case. The state Supreme Court’s ruling, relayed in a summary sent to the parties on Thursday, did not weigh in on whether the statement was true, only that Reykdal did not show a “very substantial likelihood of prevailing in a defamation action.”
Washington state law prohibits false statements about candidates in voter guides. But in order for language to be removed, a court has to rule that language is defamatory.
The legislature recently passed a law — that Reykdal supported — mandating “comprehensive sexual education.”
The law has yet to be implemented. Opponents mounted a successful effort for a referendum to repeal the law, and voters across the state will decide its fate in November.
Espinoza said Friday she felt “vindication” in that her statement was appropriate.
In a text message, Reykdal said, “This decision permits all future candidates to use the taxpayer funded voter guide to lie without accountability.”
Voter guides in Washington contain a disclaimer that the statements are not fact-checked.
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