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News >  K-12 education

Former Central Valley schools assistant principal denied request for job back amid Facebook comment lawsuit

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 29, 2021

The Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse in Spokane.  (JESSE TINSLEY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
The Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse in Spokane. (JESSE TINSLEY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

The former assistant principal at Evergreen Middle School who lost his job after posting to Facebook profane criticisms of the Democratic Party and its members had his initial request for his job back denied by a federal judge Friday.

U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Bastian denied a request for an injunction and restraining order allowing Randey Thompson to return to his assistant principal duties as his case against the Central Valley School District continues. Thompson, a 30-year employee of the school district, has argued his posts were protected speech under the First Amendment, written on his personal cellphone and not intended for public consumption.

Thompson posted shortly after the 2020 Democratic National Convention, addressing “Demtards” and calling Michelle Obama “a hateful racist (expletive).” He also wrote, “Wake the (expletive) up, America. You are being played by a fake media, athleats (sic) and performer (who are really clueless and flyers with pedophile man) and the former DNC, now just the little (expletive) of Marxist BLM, Antifa, and Soroas (sic) socialist,” apparently a reference to wealthy Democratic donor George Soros.

The school district, after becoming aware of the posts, placed Thompson on administrative leave and later stripped him of his job as principal. They instead offered him a job as a teacher at Ridgeline High School, according to court records, a position that pays $95,000 a year, less than the $140,000 Thompson was making as a principal, according to a sworn statement before the court.

Thompson is a teacher at Ridgeline High School, a district spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

The district argues the transfer was made pursuant to state law, and that the transfer was made because his comments “were harmful to the special needs students and their families served by (the district)” and “because the racial overtones used in his post and at work were harmful to the racially diverse population of students and families served by (the district).”

Bastian’s order allows discovery in the case to continue. A future hearing date had not been scheduled as of Friday.

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