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Saturday, February 24, 2024
Courthouse News Service
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Free Speech Doesn’t Protect Raunchy Guide

CHICAGO (CN) - A federal judge shot down the claims of fired guidance counselor whose self-help book discussed the racial differences in women's vaginas, while advising men to cheat and women to "enter the wonderful world of submissiveness."

Bryan Craig was a guidance counselor and girl's basketball coach at Rich Township High School in suburban Chicago until September 2012, when the Rich Township Board of Education decided that his book, "It's Her Fault," was grounds for dismissal.

Craig describes the self-published book as a "self-help book" about relationships between men and women.

After losing his job, Craig sued the board, claiming it violated his First Amendment right to free speech and retaliated against him for publishing his book.

After reviewing the book's contents, however, U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo dismissed the complaint with prejudice.

"Though plaintiff describes 'It's Her Fault' as a 'self-help' book on relationships, it is actually little more than a lurid account of plaintiff's own sexual preferences and exploits," Bucklo wrote. "The first two chapters at least superficially discuss the balance of power between men and women in relationships, but by the third chapter plaintiff's narration is focused on his own attraction to women, from ogling a 'sexy young lady' at the mall to working after-hours at a strip club, where he has learned that a stripper's 'mindset is in the right place in order to meet the true potential of the point of this book.' Plaintiff then goes on to explain 'PIMP 101,' to urge women to 'enter the wonderful world of submissiveness,' to describe in detail the vaginas of women of different races, and to advise men to cheat and engage in sexual exploits."

While the book's subject may be a matter of public interest, it does not rise to the level of a public concern, according to the ruling.

"It is not enough for plaintiff to merely assert that because the book addresses relationships between adult men and women, it is a matter of public concern," Bucklo wrote.

Calling that statement "too vague," the judge added that it is similarly not enough to highlight "the mere fact that plaintiff has self-published his book, making it available to the public and purportedly part of some public discourse."

"Moreover, plaintiff here has exploited his position as a high school guidance counselor and there is no question that the speech is 'detrimental to the mission and functions of the employer,' including policies regarding discrimination based on gender or sex," the ruling states. "As a result, plaintiff cannot establish that his book, 'It's Her Fault,' is a matter of public concern, and his First Amendment claim must be dismissed."

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