A Pennsylvania teacher who attended Donald Trump “Stop Theft” rally in Washington sued his former school district, claiming it destroyed his reputation and career by falsely linking him to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
Jason Moorehead says Allentown School District officials were motivated by “ideological hatred” for its conservative politics when the district announced a day after the riot that one of its professors “was involved in the Electoral College protest that took place at the United States Capitol.”
Moorehead said he was nowhere near the Capitol that day. He was never charged with a crime.
The district suspended Moorehead for six months, then ordered him back to work. Moorehead refused, saying a return to class was impossible after district officials deliberately turned the community against him in an effort to force his resignation. The district never retracted his statement or cleared his name, he said, and individual school board members went on a public frenzy against him, even though his teaching record was impeccable.
Last month, the school board fired him for refusing to return to work.
Now Moorehead, 45, is seeking damages and a retraction, saying his 18-year teaching career is over. Moorehead said he had been the victim of harassment and death threats, and the ordeal had placed a heavy financial burden on his family. His wife filed for divorce.
He sued Tuesday in Lehigh County Court, alleging violations of his constitutional rights.
“It is impossible for me to return to any type of educational environment working with children because it has been so poisoned,” the college’s social studies professor said in a phone interview.
District attorney John Freund III said Moorehead’s rights were “scrupulously protected” while district officials surveyed his activities on January 6. “At the end of the investigation, Mr. Moorehead was reinstated, but he did not return to work”, said a friend.
The district had previously criticized Moorehead’s social media posts regarding the events of Jan. 6, not just his presence in Washington that day. At one point, Moorehead posted a selfie of himself on Facebook in a “Make America Great Again” hat and carrying a Revolutionary War era flag, captioned: “Do my civic duty!” Moorehead also shared a post that read: “Don’t worry everyone the Capitol is insured” adding his own one-word comment: “This.”