Support for the lawsuit against Berkeley Unified and Judicial Watch
March 25, 2018


Whereas, the right-wing watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a California Public Records Act request for the emails of Martin Luther King Middle School staff mentioning specific teachers, political organizations, and politically identified movements; and

Whereas, the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) agreed to comply with the California Public Records Act by demanding King Middle School staff mine and turn over any emails. King Middle School administration instructed staff to either search their emails and submit them to BUSD by November 2, 2017, or allow BUSD to search their emails for them; and

Whereas, Judicial Watch’s targeting of specific BUSD employees and political groups violates the freedom of speech, freedom of association, reasonable right to privacy, and academic freedom of all school workers; and

Whereas, King Middle School employees filed a lawsuit to block the release of emails to Judicial Watch and the Berkeley Federation of Teachers filed an amicus brief in support. Federal Judge Vince Chhabria issued a temporary restraining order against BUSD on November 9, 2017, and blocked BUSD from turning over emails and documents until after a hearing on April 2, 2018;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the California Federation of Teachers join the Berkeley Federation in support of Martin Luther King Middle School teachers’ and staff members’ lawsuit, and encourage local unions to protect school employees against political targeting and the violation of their civil liberties.

  • Passed as Resolution 31 on March 25, 2018
  • Submitted by the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, Local 1078