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  • Writer's pictureErin DiMaggio

Censorship and Destruction Of Public Records

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

PVPUSD destroyed Public Records and Censored The Public.


  • The Board President, Matthew Brach, said, "The Board cannot take further action."

  • All members of the Board walked out of the room except Mat Brach and the Superintendent.

  • Megan Crawford was not physically present and was attending the meeting via Zoom.

  • Ami Gandhi, Linda Reid, and Richard Phillips continued to watch and discuss the meeting.

  • The Board did not notify the Public of the change in the meeting location. (Violation of Brown Act)

  • After the Board President stated, "The Board cannot take further action." -The Board continued to take further action by discussing the meeting both behind closed doors and then publicly when they restarted the meeting on zoom. (Violation of Brown Act)

  • The Board later claimed they could delete the recordings because they didn't approve the agenda and were only on a "recess." (Violation of Brown Act)

  • Richard Phillips and Megan Crawford did not approve the agenda because they didn't share our same beliefs. (Violation of The Brown Act)

PVPUSD was livestreaming the public board meeting on August 11, 2021. The Public was watching from home and 245 people viewed the original feed. We have hundreds of eyewitness testimonies who can validate that the district was live streaming all comments. Richard Phillips and Megan Crawford tried to censor and silence us. Richard Phillips and Megan Crawford violated their Oath of Office; most specifically they violated the First Amendment. A School Board Member may not engage in viewpoint discrimination and attempt to chill free speech. As Professor Frederick Schauer defines it in the free speech context, “[a] chilling effect occurs when individuals seeking to engage in activity protected by the first amendment are deterred from doing so by governmental regulation not specifically directed at that protected activity.” A chilling effect thus arises when “an otherwise legitimate regulation has the incidental effect of deterring — or chilling — benign activity.”

The Right to Assemble, air grievances, protest a mask mandate, and to challenge a policy are Federally protected rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

The First Amendment's Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” The Public in attendance at the Board Meeting did not believe COVID was deadly, that the CDC was trustworthy, that the Hospitals were full or that COVID posed a serious risk to anyone in the room. Richard Phillips and Megan Crawford believed those not wearing a mask were harboring a deadly contagious virus and posed a serious threat to the public.

Richard Phillips and Megan Crawford re-entered the "MEETING" via zoom to silence the public. When they could not shut us up, someone instructed District staff to cut the live feed after 53:38 minutes of public testimony in a pure attempt to prevent the public from hearing our viewpoints. Sharon Rizzi's friends were watching via the District Media Page from home and texted her to say, "The YouTube Livestream was cut off."

Initially, all Board members were present: Richard Phillips, Linda Reid, Ami Gandhi and Matt Brach were physically in the room. Megan Crawford was out of town and participating from zoom. Whether or not the Board approved the Agenda is irrelevant because the Board continued to discuss the mask mandates and engage with the public commentary via zoom.

A meeting, as defined by the Brown Act, is “any congregation of a majority of the members of a legislative body at the same time and place to hear, discuss or deliberate upon any item that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body” (§ 54952.2 (a)). That means that “informal”, “study,” “discussion,” ”informational,” “fact-finding,” or “pre-council” gatherings of a quorum of the members of a board are within the scope of the Act as meetings.

Vice President of the Board, Megan Crawford, re-entered the "meeting" via ZOOM to scold and to silence and CENSOR the people at the meeting. Yet the District claims, "It wasn't a meeting."

Crawford said,

They are misrepresenting scientific thoughts. And, now basically having all of this misinformation spread online...Um...It's not acceptable."

Crawford said this because PVPUSD was livestreaming the meeting on the PVPUSD District Media Youtube Page. Crawford did not want the public to hear what the people at the meeting were saying.

Richard Phillips re-entered via zoom and said, "The reason we didn't approve the agenda is I don't know how we can ask our Teachers to wear a mask if they aren't willing to do the same."
Crawford went on to ask, "Why should we let you continue?"

The people wearing a mask - their health matters more than yours. - Megan Crawford

(*No one in the room was wearing a mask except Mat Brach and the Superintendent.)

Matt Brach said, "It is up to the people at home to determine whether or not to take your information."

Phillips and Crawford violated their Oath to Defend The United States Constitution, namely The First Amendment. Phillips admitted he censored comments so he could more easily enforce public mask mandates when he said, "The reason we didn't approve the agenda is I don't know how we can ask our Teachers to wear a mask if they aren't willing to do the same." (*viewpoint discrimination, it is singling out a particular opinion or perspective on that subject matter for treatment unlike that given to other viewpoints.)

Rick Phillips and Megan Crawford, acting as the government took a side on a debate and, engaged in viewpoint discrimination.

The Supreme Court has held viewpoint-based restrictions to be especially offensive to the First Amendment. Such restrictions are treated as presumptively unconstitutional.

  • The First Amendment protects American people from government censorship.

  • In particular, when public officials use social media as government actors, the First Amendment prohibits them from censoring differing viewpoints. Blocking users or deleting comments because they express critical opinions offends the Constitution and principles of transparency.

  • When officials act on behalf of the government, they are subject to the limits that the First Amendment imposes on them as government actors. If a public official invites comments on an issue concerning public matters or otherwise intentionally designates it as a space for public discussion, the room is a “designated” public forum. Where public forums are involved, public officials cannot exclude people from speaking because the official disagrees with them.

  • In a public forum, the power to restrict comments in that forum—whether by blocking a user or by hiding or deleting their comments—is limited by constitutional free speech guarantees. Members of City Council of L.A. v. Taxpayers for Vincent, 466 U.S. 789, 804 (1984). As these decisions emphasize, in a public forum, restrictions based on disagreement with the viewpoint expressed are unconstitutional. Davidson v. Randall, 912 F.3d 666 (4th Cir. 2019) (affirming a lower court ruling that blocking people on social media is viewpoint discrimination in its most natural form); Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors of Univ. of Va., 515 U.S. 819, 829 (1995). A recent decision by the Eighth Circuit has also adopted this framework. Campbell v. Reisch, 986 F.3d 822 (8th Cir. 2021).

  • The Supreme Court of the United States has held that viewpoint discrimination is never constitutionally permissible in any type of forum, including designated public forums, as here. Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors of Univ. of Va., 515 U.S. 819, 829 (1995)

  • Viewpoint discrimination is thus an egregious form of content discrimination.

  • The government must abstain from regulating speech when the specific motivating ideology or the opinion or perspective of the speaker is the rationale for the restriction”); see also Police Department of Chicago v. Mosley, 408 U.S. 92, 96 (1972) Government may not grant the use of a forum to people whose views it finds acceptable, but deny use to those wishing to express less favored or more controversial views.”); Price v. City of New York, 15 Civ. 5871 (KPF), 2018 WL 3117507, at *16 (S.D.N.Y. June 25, 2018)

  • “Viewpoint discrimination that results in the intentional, targeted expulsion of individuals from [any type of forum] violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.”). Because your “suppression of [my] critical commentary regarding [my] elected official[] is the natural form of viewpoint discrimination,” Davison, 26 F. Supp. 3d at 717, it violates the First Amendment.

The people weren't given the opportunity to determine whether or not take our information because the District intentionally destroyed the media to control the narrative and admitted their intentions were so that they could force Teachers to enforce the mask mandate.

The Brown Act was enacted in 1953 to guarantee the public's right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies, and as a response to growing concerns about local government officials' practice of holding secret meetings that were not in compliance with advance public notice requirements.

The District must demonstrate they will defend the United States Constitution and add the 17 public comments back to the District Media Page with a notation that even though the Board did not approve the Agenda; Richard Phillips, Ami Gandhi, Megan Crawford, and Linda Reid did not understand the rules of order for a situation in which the Public disagrees with a Public Policy.

When the Public peacefully protests a policy the Government Body is obligated under Oath of Office to allow for public comments even if they have a different set of fundamental beliefs. The Brown Act must be followed when the majority of the members of a legislative body meet at the same time and place to hear, discuss or deliberate upon any item that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body” (§ 54952.2 (a)). That means that “informal”, “study,” “discussion,” ”informational,” “fact-finding,” or “pre-council” gatherings of a quorum of the members of a board are within the scope of the Act as meetings. Under the Brown Act, the public is entitled to comment on any matter within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body, as well as any agenda item. Cal. Gov't Code § 54954.3(a).

In response to the District's unwillingness to allow for basic informed consent rights parents formed Save PV Schools, LLC and filed a Writ of Mandamus against PVPUSD, LA County Department of Public Health and The California Department of Public Health.

Parents who were at the meeting on August 11, 2021, filed first a Federal Lawsuit against the District and then on December 13, 2021, Save PV Schools filed the first Writ of Mandamus. The County and PVPUSD have been in ongoing litigation with Save PV Schools for close to two years.

The District's Legal Team,Fozi Dwork & Modafferi, LLP, claimed on February 22, 2022, Save PV Schools lacked standing. However, Judge Tanaka issued an Order stating: Save PV Schools,LLC showed good cause. The Honorable Gary Y Tanaka, wrote, "Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District's Demurrer to Third Amended Petition for Writ of Mandate and Prohibition is overruled, in part, and sustained without leave to amend, in part."

PVPUSD did not win their case against Save PV Schools. Rather, on August 25, 2023, Judge: Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka issued a ruling stating, "The TAP is now moot." Judge Tanaka did not rule on the violation of PVPUSD regarding the Brown Act and rather skipped over it entirely.


1. Los Angeles County Department of Health’s Demurrer to Third Amended Petition for Writ of Mandate and Prohibition

2. Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District’s Demurrer to Third Amended Petition for Writ of Mandate and Prohibition

The TAP is now moot. The County of Los Angeles (“County”) rescinded its emergency orders  by which it implemented and enforced the mask mandate challenged by Petitioner. (RJN, Exs.  A-C.) Currently, there is no universal mask mandate in place. Thus, the entirety of the TAP is  
now moot. “[A]n action which originally was based upon a justiciable controversy cannot be  maintained on appeal if the questions raised therein have become moot by subsequent acts or  events.” Cerletti v. Newsom (2021) 71 Cal.App.5th 760, 765–66. “An issue becomes moot when  some event has occurred which ‘deprive[s] the controversy of its life. [...] The policy behind a  mootness dismissal is that courts decide justiciable controversies and will normally not render  advisory opinions. The voluntary cessation of allegedly wrongful conduct destroys the  justiciability of a controversy and renders an action moot unless there is a reasonable expectation  the allegedly wrongful conduct will be repeated.” Center for Local Government Accountability  v. City of San Diego (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 1146, 1157. 
Petitioner argues that the mandate is likely to reoccur. “A court may resolve an otherwise moot  case if it raises an important issue likely to recur, but which regularly evades timely appellate  review.” Id. at 766. “[F]act-specific issues that are unlikely to recur [...] does not justify our  exercise of discretion to resolve moot questions.” Building a Better Redondo, Inc. v. City of  Redondo Beach (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 852, 867. This petition centers around the public health  response to a once in a century pandemic. 



February 2022 - How much did PVPUSD spend on a Legal Defense in which they were not subjected to any threat of financial penalties?

Letters from the Superintendent to The Governor Advocating For No Masks



El Dorado Unified School District Resolution To Allow For Choice

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