Los Angeles (September 28, 2020) – Freedom X has sued administrators of eight Southern California school districts after a series of cancellations of student field trips to Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen, CA, a popular American heritage-themed “living history farm” offering immersive history presentations of America’s founding. The lawsuit alleges that the school districts conspired to boycott the farm in response to politically conservative views expressed by its owner, James Patrick Riley, on social media.
The lawsuit, which joins a similar one filed last year against Claremont Unified School District in Claremont, CA, names as defendants the superintendents and board of education presidents of Azusa, Bonita, Burbank, Culver City, Monrovia, Rialto, San Bernardino City and Walnut Valley Unified School Districts. It additionally names as a defendant Crystal MacHott, a teacher in the Corona-Norco Unified School District, who has admitted to campaigning for the boycott and who was unidentified at the time the Claremont lawsuit was filed.
The lawsuit alleges violations of Riley’s First and Fourteenth Amendment freedom speech, retaliation, conspiracy and due process.
Freedom X president Bill Becker described the schools’ boycott of Riley’s Farm as part of the current “cancel culture” trend, in which businesses become victims of leftwing ideologues who seek to destroy them because of their owners’ conservative beliefs. The owners of Chic-fil-A, Mozilla, and numerous businesses and individuals branded “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center similarly have been targeted with boycotts by leftwing ideological opponents.
Riley posted his personal views regarding topical matters on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. The Complaint alleges that shortly after Riley posted certain comments in 2018, MacHott used an alias Facebook account to disparage him. She then sent copies of Riley’s posts to various school officials within the school districts. The field trip cancellations and boycotts soon followed.
In addition to filing the current lawsuit, Freedom X is preparing an appeal of the Claremont lawsuit’s dismissal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Tax-exempt donations to fund the lawsuit and appeal may be made at Freedom X‘s website:
(Although PayPal is one option, when you visit the “Save Riley’s Farm” web page to make your one-time or recurring donation, we encourage you to either mail in your donation with a check or donate through Cornerstone, a leading Christian owned and operated merchant processing company similar to PayPal.)