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TEA Party group sues over cancellation of speaker



Published: Sun, April 10, 2011 @ 1:16 a.m.

MANSFIELD (AP)

A lawsuit alleges an Ohio school district violated a tea-party group’s civil rights when it withdrew permission for the group to have an event on school grounds featuring a speaker who some activists say is anti-Islamic.

The Mansfield North Central Ohio Tea Party Association sued Mansfield City Schools this week.

Mansfield’s superintendent said the district decided March 28 to withdraw permission because of concerns about safety amid potential demonstrations.

He defended the decision and said it wasn’t based on the presumed content of the speech by Usama Dakdok, who founded a ministry that preaches conversion from Islam to Christianity.

An attorney for the tea- party group says it believes the decision was a reaction to pressure from activists who urged the district to block the event.

The district did not respond to a message seeking comment Saturday.


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