BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A show of support for a trustee with the Kern County Board of Education. Mary Little claims she’s being targeted for her opinion on the vaccine mandate.
Little, publicly supports those who want to protest the vaccine mandate. But she argues, because of her views, she is being targeted by fellow members of the county board of education.
“I do have first amendment clause in the constitution and I have the right to the freedom of speech,” Little says during a special meeting with the Kern County Board of Education on Tuesday evening.
Little’s attorney Tracy Henderson sent a cease and desist letter to the board, demanding members stop censoring and harassing Little. Among those named in the order, Superintendent of Schools Mary Barlow and Board President Ron Froehlich.
The board held a special meeting Tuesday evening where the public was invited to speak. However, Henderson, who lives in Carmel, says she was given less than a 24 hour notice and was denied a chance to participate via zoom or by telephone.
“I viewed this in my mind as an olive branch of resolution,” Henderson said. “Typically you talk face to face when you have a conflict. I was excited to talk about the opportunity to say ‘look, we really just need you, and the conduct that’s an issue, to refrain from moving forward, and be professional and collegial. They prevented that conversation from happening.”
But those who support Little’s right to voice her opinion, were there to let her know.
“She’s being opposed because she has an opposing opinion,” Natalie Feinberg a local highs school teacher and protestor said. “I don’t think this is right to smash an opposing voice and that’s why we’re here supporting her.”
Now the board is asking Little when she speaks to separate her personal opinion from her role as a trustee. Which Henderson says they can work with if the harassment and censorship stop. Henderson also says her client is not looking to take things into litigation.
17News asked for comment from the superintendent Mary Barlow and other school board members but they declined to comment.