News Release From Travis Faber—
(3-20-19) Recently, Staff Sergeant Janice Holdheide attempted to speak to the Celina City School Board meeting about the actions that the school, her alma mater, has taken against Tyler Carlin. Unfortunately, she was turned away and told that she would not be allowed to speak on the matter.
Carlin’s attorney Travis Faber
“First and foremost, the Carlin family would like to recognize that Staff Sergeant Holdheide is an American hero who served multiple combat tours in Iraq. She fought for the same rights that the Celina City School District is attempting to strip from Tyler. The Carlin family wholeheartedly thanks Staff Sergeant Holdheide for her service and the sacrifices she has made, as well as her recent support of Tyler. We have been continually overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support from the community and our local veterans for Tyler’s cause.”
The Carlins believe that Staff Sergeant Holdheide, like every American, has a constitutional right to stand up at a public meeting and speak about her beliefs regarding the actions her local government is taking. This includes the actions the Celina City School District has taken against Tyler for bringing a Battlefield Cross to school. This right is clearly protected under the 1st Amendment.
The Celina City School District’s assertion that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) barred them from allowing Staff Sergeant Holdheide to speak at their meeting is in no way supported by the law.
“The school district’s claim that they cannot allow a private citizen to speak is nonsensical, and such an inaccurate claim only underlines the issues that we have been dealing with from day one.”
A review of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act shows that nothing in the law would restrict the school from allowing private citizens from speaking at a public meeting during a meeting’s public comment section.
“Staff Sergeant Holdheide more than earned her right to speak on the battlefields of Iraq, just as she has fought for and earned the rights of the citizens she’s continuing to stand up and defend. The school board’s attempt to silence her is disrespectful to her service and the service of her brothers and sisters in arms.”
Regarding the school district’s request that the family waive their son’s FERPA rights, which protect every students’ private and confidential information, Faber said he has reached out to the school’s attorney to let the school know the family would work with them on a case-by-case basis to release information and evidence.
“Considering that we believe the school has already violated FERPA and that they have changed their story regarding the reason for Tyler’s suspension, we cannot sign an overly broad release that will give them free reign to disclose Tyler’s private information. their false claims regarding what an Iraq War veteran could say at their public meeting highlights the risk we would put Tyler in by handing the school a blank check to release Tyler’s private information.”
Faber’s claim that the school has changed their reasoning behind Tyler’s suspension are backed up by documents provided by the school.
“The family was originally told that Tyler was suspended for bringing a look-a-like firearm to school, but after the family made clear that they would fight the suspension, they were then told, in contradiction to the earlier communications, that he was suspended for insubordination. Based on this past conduct, I don’t know if they are going to tell the story they told when Tyler was handed his suspension, the story they told after the Carlin’s took issue with the suspension, or a new story they came up with after the public outcry surrounding their actions.”
Faber ended by saying that the family will continue to work with the school’s attorney to resolve this matter as soon as possible, pointing out that they have requested to meet with the school board on multiple occasions.
“Sometimes people just need to use common sense and admit when they made a mistake”.