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Thomas Cole's Federal Lawsuit against Santa Barbara School District

"Government Actors Shall not Impinge Upon the Free Speech of Citizens"

Thomas Cole's Free Speech/Defend the Children Federal Lawsuit


Hello, I'm Thomas Cole political analyst in Montecito CA, and we have been spreading the word about the inappropriate and downright perverted images and curriculum in our CA schools. Recently we went directly to parents on a school sidewalk. We handed out images from several junior high school library books directly to parents. Well, the principal and school superintendent didn't like that at all. They told us to get off the sidewalk and then called the police when we didn't run. This is the classic State Actors using Police power to end free speech. A week later we tried again to reach parents in front of La Colina Junior High and this thin the response was heightened. The school sent out three burley dudes with radios to chase us off the sidewalks. Another civil rights violation.


So we hired Attorney Johnathan McKee in Goleta, CA to file a suit in Federal Court in Los Angeles. A federal court will offer the best chance for a fair and seasoned judge and trial, should we get that far. The First Amendment exists exactly for this purpose; to protect citizens' rights to speak freely their grievances against the government, without the government sending in police. And we are talking about our government schools, which believe they are pure as snow and invincible.


So here is your opportunity - To tell the government school technocrats -

We will not be silenced by government employees, and we will speak to parents about these important issues without the police being sent in to chill our actions.


The school district has hired its top local attorneys and we will soon need additional funds to continue this important battle. Thomas has fronted the money and knowledge to get the suit written, filed and served. And with your help, we may even win. The county school district and other defendants have all accepted service and their attorneys are responding.  We have a prelinimary court date set for September 28 in Federal court.


We are including additional incidents where the district has harassed, fired and sued teachers and candidates for school office, in our pleadings. This to show a "pattern and practice" of civil rights violations by the District.  We will keep you all updated.

Best Regards Thomas Cole JD

The entire suit can be seen below or at Under the Federal Lawsuit tab...

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Lawsuit Update: 7 July 2023

So the county says they have nothing to do with individual school districts or schools...


Plaintiff’s second cause of action appears to allege liability against the County on grounds that the principal of the Monte Vista Elementary School and/or the superintendent of the Hope Elementary School District are employees or agents of the County and the County is therefore vicariously liable for their alleged deprivation of Plaintiff’s first amendment right to free speech. Complaint (“Compl.”), ¶¶ 14, 53-61.

A public entity may be sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 only when execution of an entity policy or custom inflicts the injury. Monell v. Dep’t of Soc. Servs. of New York City, 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978). There is no respondeat superior liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Id. Thus, even if Mr. Rheinschild and/or Ms. Hubbard were County employees or agents, which they are not...


And so on. Even though the County School funds all public schools in the county..  We have a pre trial conference set on or before 17 July. 


 I'm taking the slings and arrows for you, because a Federal Civil Rights case demands we have a plaintiff, and I am that plaintiff. For our cause to make parents aware, to make change in our government school systems and protect ours kids from the education groomers.

Lawsuit Update: June 22, 2023

The districts attorney has waived service claiming the defendants have all been made aware of the suit and they accept service. Also the SBUSD through their attorney of record has indicated they are counter suing and will be attaching plaintiff Cole's personal assets for forfeiture in an effort to have us drop the suit. This is very bad form to attack a Plaintiff in a Federal Civil Rights Case...But it shows how desperate the school district is.  But I'm not backing down. Our community support is heartening and thank you all, we could use some more !


 I'm taking the slings and arrows for you, because a Federal Civil Rights case demands we have a plaintiff...and for our cause to make parents aware, to make change in our government school systems. 

Free Speech Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court Los Angeles June 6, 2023

Jonathan McKee, Esq.
PO Box 24036
Santa Barbara, CA 93121
805 708-8424
CalBAR # 345133

Attorney for Plaintiff THOMAS COLE

United States District Court,
Central District of California


Thomas Cole




Hans Rheinschild, an Individual;
Anne Hubbard, an Individual;
Hope Elementary School District;
Hilda Maldonado, an Individual;
Santa Barbara Unified School District;
Santa Barbara County Education Office;
Susan Salcido, an Individual;
County of Santa Barbara;
California Department of Education;
California State Board of Education.

Case Number:  2:23-cv-03712

Federal Complaint for Remedy at Trial (42 U.S.C. § 1983), including

Supplemental Jurisdiction in Tort

(28 U.S.C. § 1367)

  1. Free Speech Violation
    (1st Amendment —
    U.S. Constitution)

  2. Defamation-slander (28 U.S.C. § 4101—CACI # 1730)

  3. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (CA Tort-CACI # 1600)

  4. Assault (CA Tort-CACI # 1301).




  1. Now Comes Plaintiff, Thomas Cole, with prayer that this honorable Court provide relief and remedy from the wrongful, intentional acts of defendants as described below in the causes of action for Slander; Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; Assault; and deprivation of his First Amendment Right to Free Speech

  2. Plaintiff, Thomas Cole, seeks remedy by jury trial.

  3. The intentionality committed by the named government employees (school teachers and administrators), under color of law, both jointly and severally, caused harm to plaintiff. Such harm entitles plaintiff to monetary compensation in lieu of the inadequacy of any other equitable or legal remedy.

  4. Each of the named defendants stands in the capacity of agency with one another; each holds a fiduciary duty to the other and to our local citizenry under the authority of the State of California through the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

    Jurisdiction and Venue

  5. Plaintiff brings this Subject Matter complaint under federal question and stands with controversy pursuant to:  28 U.S.C. § 1331—as an original civil action arising under the laws of the Constitution;  28 U.S.C. § 1343—by way of recovering damages to redress the deprivation, under color of law, of the right to speak freely as protected by the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution;  28 U.S.C. § 1391—within the City of Santa Barbara and seeks Attorney's fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 via enforcement of section 1983 of Title 42 in the United States Code.

  6. Plaintiff pursues 28 U.S.C. § 1367, Supplemental Jurisdiction for all other claims that are so related that they form part of the same originating case and controversy herein described.


    The Parties

  7. Plaintiff, Thomas Cole, is a resident in the County of Santa Barbara. He is a private citizen who is concerned with the public schools hyper-sexualization of minor children.

  8. Defendant, Hans Rheinschild, is being sued as an Individual and as an Employee of the government. Mr. Rheinschild holds the position of Principal at the Monte Vista Elementary School which falls under the authority and control of both; the Hope Elementary School District; and its Superintendent.

  9. Defendant, Anne Hubbard, is being sued as an Individual and as an Employee of the government. Ms. Hubbard holds the position of Superintendent of the Hope Elementary School District which is under the control and direction of the elected Board of Trustees of the Hope Elementary School District.

  10. Defendant, Hope Elementary School District, is being sued as a government entity. Hope Elementary School District hires the persons who hold the positions of Superintendent and Principal. Yet, the Hope Elementary School District lies under the guidance and financing authority of the Santa Barbara County Board of Education and its Superintendent.

  11. Defendant, Hilda Maldonado, is being sued as an Individual and as an Employee of the government. Dr. Maldonado holds the position of Superintendent of the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Dr. Maldonado rides the helm by providing oversight for the schools' employees as the chief executive officer of the school districts that lie within the territory of the the Santa Barbara Unified School District. The Santa Barbara Unified School District absorbs students from Monte vista Elementary School.

  12. Defendant, Santa Barbara County Education Office, is being sued as a government entity. Santa Barbara County Board of Education approves the budget and the plan for local control and accountability. It is directly responsible for staff development and employee standards. This defendant holds vicarious liability for all actions taken by school staff, employees, and teachers.

  13. Defendant, Susan Salcido, is being sued as an Individual and as an elected Employee of the government. Dr. Salcido is directly accountable to the tax-paying citizens of the County of Santa Barbara regarding all conduct emanating from within the local school systems. It is her duty to maintain proper decorum between concerned citizens and the hired employees under her authority and oversight.

  14. Defendant, County of Santa Barbara, is being sued as a government entity. Under California Education Code § 1080, the County Board of Supervisors maintains authority and control over all school districts within the County of Santa Barbara. The County, by resolving to withdraw anticipated revenue and expenditure duties from the county board of education, herein known as the Santa Barbara County Education Office, may restrain the wrongful conduct of its school employees. This defendant holds vicarious liability for all actions taken by school staff, employees, and teachers.

  15. Defendant, California Department of Education (CDE), is being sued as a government entity. CDE serves by collaborating with educators and schools to improve and enforce regulation for the benefit of parents and students. CDE is vicariously liable for the intentional, wrongful acts of those employed under its authority.

  16. Defendant, California State Board of Education (SBE), is being sued as a government entity. SBE is responsible for all governing and policy designed to control, monitor, and regulate professional behavior as to teachers, principals, and superintendents who work within the local school systems. SBE is vicariously liable to all citizens and any person who sustains harm arising from intentional and wrongful conduct of its governmentally employed persons.


    General Allegations

  17. Plaintiff resides in the community known as the County of Santa Barbara.

  18. Plaintiff remains genuinely concerned about the proper education of all minor persons who reside in the County of Santa Barbara.

  19. Plaintiff recognizes the need of parents to be aware of all school literature and curriculum that may be made available to school aged, minor children.

  20. Plaintiff, Thomas Cole, holds a Juris Doctorate Degree.

  21. Plaintiff maintains a learned position within his community that enables him to better and more fully inform his fellow citizens who are parents of current students who attend the local schools within the County of Santa Barbara; in this specific instance, the Monte Vista Elementary School.

  22. Plaintiff uses handy tools and protected privileges to inform local citizenry on issues of vital concern for the health and welfare of local youth and minor children.

  23. Plaintiff distributed printed fliers to adults walking on the sidewalk one Friday morning (September 16, 2022).

  24. Plaintiff, on that day, exercised his right to speak freely, at the public forum of the sidewalk, to inform parents that sexually explicit material is made available to minor children within the confines of school property.

  25. Plaintiff hand delivered copies of a snippet of the school's available sexually explicit material (edited by him) only with blocking icons to cover genital and orifice areas depicted on the cartoon drawings of persons engaging in exploratory sexual activities.

  26. The cartoon drawings show the act of fellation being performed. The first drawing shows a top down view of an exposed belly button with the other person's, eyes-closed-head at hip level to the belly button. The second drawing shows the same fellatio act from a side view making it clear that the one person giving must be on their knees with their head at hip level and that the other person receiving must stand at a posture with their hips in a forward-thrusted position in order to insert the extended genital into the opened orifice as an experiment of things that children may do with each other's body parts.

  27. The drawings contain written dialogue that says, “Hey Z . . . Let's try something else.”

  28. Plaintiff expressed to the adults as they walked by on the sidewalk, some taking the pamphlet, that “this is in our school libraries for twelve year olds.”

  29. Plaintiff believes that the referenced material precisely fits the definition of sexually explicit conduct as expressed in 18 U.S.C. § 2256.

  30. Plaintiff has personal knowledge that the sexually explicit materials are housed—and available to any youth—in the Junior High School libraries within the County of Santa Barbara.

  31. Plaintiff spoke encouragement to the adult parents to peacefully question the school's intent on the subject.

  32. Defendant, Hans Rheinschild, emerged from the shadows of the school property shouting at Plaintiff.

  33. Defendant, Anne Hubbard, surfaced with the same intimidating expressions.

  34. One of the defendants called the police.

  35. Plaintiff, Thomas Cole, upon the knowledge that the police had been called, immediately retreated from the public sidewalk to his own private automobile in fear of public humiliation and physical harm by a no-questions-asked, face-in-the-dirt, wrongful arrest.

  36. Plaintiff left the public sidewalk area with the chilling feeling of having his freedom of speech wrongfully quashed.

  37. Plaintiff later learned that the police did arrive, but no arrests were made.

  38. Plaintiff, herein, asserts that Defendants' conduct was willful, malicious, fraudulent, and oppressive.

    First Cause of Action—civil assault

  39. Plaintiff brings a claim of civil assault against Individual defendants: Hans Rheinschild and Anne Hubbard.

  40. Plaintiff asserts all prior general allegations, above, and all specific allegations in the causes, below.

  41. Defendant, Hans Rheinschild, physically and aggressively approached plaintiff's person.

  42. Defendant, Hans Rheinschild, while angrily approaching, shouted out to plaintiff: “You can't do that!” and “It is school pride day!”

  43. Plaintiff stepped back in apprehension of defendant's physical contact as a push or a shove if he stood his ground on the public sidewalk.

  44. Plaintiff was unaware of the alleged school activities but rather was only aware that it was a regular school day in which parents often walked their children to school.

  45. Defendant, Anne Hubbard, surprisingly appeared on the scene in support and encouragement of Hans Rheinschild's aggressive behavior toward plaintiff.

  46. Plaintiff was informed that the police had been called.

  47. Plaintiff, unwilling to cause escalation to Defendants' aggressive and defiant behavior toward him, chose to retreat in fear of bodily injury caused by either defendant or the police.

  48. Defendants' conduct put plaintiff in apprehension of unwanted physical contact by police involvement.

  49. Both defendants, Hans Rheinschild and Anne Hubbard intentionally displayed aggressive behavior toward plaintiff that caused plaintiff to feel apprehensive of unwanted touching by being physically removed from the sidewalk if he continued to exercise his right to speak freely on a public sidewalk.

  50. Plaintiff asserts that harm to him arose from the intentional assault made against him by Defendants: Hans Rheinschild and Anne Hubbard.

    Second Cause of Action—deprivation of free speech

  51. Plaintiff brings a claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against each, and all, of the above named defendants.

  52. Plaintiff asserts all allegations, above, and all allegations, below.

  53. On September 16, 2022, Plaintiff, Thomas Cole, attempted to exercise his right to speak freely in within public forum; the public sidewalk.

  54. Defendants, Hans Rheinschild and Anee Hubbard snuffed out plaintiff's right to openly speak while standing on a public sidewalk.

  55. Defendants' agents made intimidating assaults against plaintiff.

  56. Since defendants, Mr. Rheinschild and Ms. Hubbard, are government employees, they used alleged color of law authority against Plaintiff by threatening strong-arm tactics which caused him to stop talking and to go away for concerns of his personal safety.

  57. Defendants called the police to act against plaintiff's right to speak freely.

  58. Defendants used the color-of-law in their making the phone call to the police which squelched and stomped out Plaintiff's right to speak freely without fear of harm.

  59. Defendants browbeat plaintiff with authoritative pontifications that plaintiff had no right to do what he was doing; delivering pamphlets to adults and speaking to them about the school's sexually explicit material that was made available to their children in the Junior High School libraries.

  60. No trespass onto school property was made by Plaintiff.

  61. Defendants' agents' overbearing demeanor chilled Plaintiff's desire to speak freely and to openly communicate with fellow citizens on the public sidewalk.

  62. Defendants threatened and performed police action against Plaintiff.

  63. Defendant used police power to scare Plaintiff away from the public sidewalk.

  64. Defendants caused police engagement against Plaintiff even though Plaintiff moved away from the scene in fear of escalated, color-of-law violence toward him.

  65. Plaintiff asserts that harm to him arose from the intentional, color-of-law deprivation of his 1st Amendment Fundamental Right which protects the freedom of speech in a public forum.

    Third Cause of Action—slander

  66. Plaintiff brings a claim of slander per se, pursuant to California Civil Code § 46, against each defendant.

  67. Plaintiff asserts all allegations, above, and all allegations, below.

  68. Plaintiff believes that each defendant (vicariously or intentionally) is liable for defamation against plaintiff.

  69. On September 16, 2022, defendants and/or agents thereof, accused Plaintiff of committing a crime.

  70. Defendants called the police to report a false crime being committed by Plaintiff.

  71. Defendants' phone call to the police was an unprivileged publication of Plaintiff's alleged criminal behavior.

  72. Defendants used the color-of-law in their making a false accusation to the police about Plaintiff's conduct.

  73. Defendants caused confusion, infuriation, and embarrassment to Plaintiff in making the false accusation to the police.

  74. Defendants' false report to the police was slander per se against Plaintiff.

  75. Defendants furthered the slander per se by notifying a news media outlet regarding their false accusation made to the police about Plaintiff's conduct.

  76. Defendants apparently participated in an interview with the news outlet that focused on Plaintiff's alleged crime in their having called the police.

  77. By its written publication of that interview regarding Defendants having called the police to report a false crime against Plaintiff, it is clear that Defendants furthered the slander per se against Plaintiff.

  78. No arrests were made given the fact that no crime was committed.

  79. Plaintiff sustains ongoing harm and reputational sufferings from the false accusation.

    Fourth Cause of Action—intentional infliction of emotional distress

  80. Plaintiff brings a claim of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress against all defendants.

  81. Plaintiff asserts all allegations, above, and all allegations, below.

  82. Defendants aggressive behavior against Plaintif was outrageous.

  83. Defendants yelling and shouting at Plaintiff was outrageous behavior on the part of all defendants.

  84. Defendants false accusation of criminal behavior against Plaintiff was outrageous.

  85. Defendants false report to the police department about Plaintiff was outrageous conduct on the part of all defendants.

  86. Defendants extreme and outrageous behavior was intentionally orchestrated and designed to humiliate and cause severe emotional distress to Plaintiff.

  87. Plaintiff slinked back to his private automobile in fear of a false arrest being made against him.

  88. Plaintiff asserts that all defendants have departmental practices and policies in place specifically to coerce parents and citizens into silence by using police force to control and silence those who speak out about questionable curriculum and sexually explicit literary materials promoted by school officials and used to teach children questionable social constructs.

  89. Plaintiff asserts that defendants repeatedly implement actions that cause emotional distress into the hearts and minds (consciousness) of those in the same shoes as Plaintiff.

  90. Defendants knew, or should have known, or acted with reckless disregard, that their outrageous conduct (aggressively approaching; vocally yelling; accusatorially reporting a false crime to the police; and furthering the false accusations to a news media outlet) would more than likely cause Plaintiff to suffer severe emotional distress.

  91. Defendants extreme and outrageous conduct was a substantial factor in causing Plaintiff's severe emotional distress.

  92. Plaintiff did and is suffering from severe emotional distress.

  93. Plaintiff's position was changed that morning from informing parents of the Age-Inappropriate school library material to seeking protection from the excessive force and intimidating tactics foisted upon him by all defendants.

  94. Plaintiff became embarrassed, humiliated, and shocked upon the publication of that morning's activity of exercising of his freedom-of-speech Right; which was painted—by defendants' phoning the police—as unlawful behavior.

  95. But for Defendants' extreme and outrageous conduct perpetrated against Plaintiff, this lawsuit would have been not filed.


    Prayer for Relief

  96. Plaintiff prays that this Honorable Court enter a judgment for:

  97. General Damages according to proof;

  98. Special Damages according to proof;

  99. Consequential Damages according to proof:

  100. Punitive and Exemplary Damages as determined by jury:

  101. Costs of Suit;

  102. Attorney's Fees; and

  103. Other award as this Honorable Court deems as just, fit, and proper.
    Respectfully submitted,

    Jonathan McKee, Esq.
    Representative for Plaintiff, Thomas Cole.

-- Thomas Cole JD

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