The president of a Utah parent teacher association allegedly ordered LGBT flags to be staked in a mothers’ yard without her permission, and has apparently threatened legal action after being accused online.
Utah mom April Wilde Despain posted a video to Facebook showing an individual with 7 LGBT flags at her family’s property. In the video, the person with the flags says they were ordered by Hillcrest Junior High PTA President Jennifer Auwerda.
“I asked Auwerda repeatedly to leave my family alone and to stop harassing us online,” Despain told The Lion. “Not only did she refuse, but instead she escalated the harassment by sending Pride flags to our front yard as an act of intimidation.”
After the video went viral, Despain says she’s been threatened with a lawsuit for purported “cyber bullying and invasion of privacy,” according to a cease and desist letter sent by Hepworth Legal.
“We immediately request that you cease and desist from continuing your vitriolic campaign against our client,” said the letter, dated Jun. 2 and shared by Despain on Twitter.
The letter exhorts the mother to “cease” from posting photos of the PTA president, as it is “riling up violent individuals who have been threatening and doxing our client.”
In the letter, Utah Code Ann. 76-9-201(3) was cited as evidence for the alleged “electronic communication harassment.”
Despain tweeted the letter with the following response:
“After coming on MY social media & sending 7 Pride flags to MY home just bc I don’t believe in gender/queer ideology, this Murray, UT PTA president is threatening to sue me if I don’t remove my posts and formally apologize to her. Not happening. I’m DONE being bullied. Bring it on.”
The letter demands Despain deletes her posts about Auwerda and give her an “apology.” If the law firm does not hear back from the Utah mother, it plans to take further action, the letter warns.
However, Despain believes her family has been bullied by the PTA leader over their belief that “gender is binary,” she said in a Jun. 1 tweet. She also wants to press charges against Auwerda for ordering the flags.
“Everything she accuses me of doing to her was in fact what she did to me, and I simply defended myself,” Despain said, finding the letter “hypocritical.”
The Utah mother said she just wants to protect her children from the harmful effects of “gender/queer theory,” and wants to stand for her “God-given right” to religious freedom.
“I think it’s despicable and sad what I am forced to endure for that.” she said. “But I will endure it because truth, freedom, and our children matter enough, and I won’t back down on these issues, even with the threat of a lawsuit.”
Despain, who now homeschools her children, said her battle with the school district began when her son’s 3rd grade teacher supposedly read the book Call Me Max, which revolves around a child wanting to transition genders.