LIVINGSTON, La. (BRPROUD) — A Livingston middle school librarian who filed a lawsuit against two men for defamation saw her case thrown out by a judge on Wednesday.
This battle, all began after a public library board meeting in July to discuss children’s books in the library.
The books covered sex education, gender, dating, and LGBTQ+ topics.
A Livingston judge ruled the defamation case against two men, Ryan Thames and Michael Lunsford, was not strong enough. Lunsford is the Executive Director of an online blog, Citizens for a New Louisiana. He said that he is not surprised by the ruling.
“You know, I have to say, judging from our actions and the things that we’ve done, I’d say it’s right on par with what it should have been,” Lunsford said.
The school’s librarian, Amanda Jones, said after she spoke out against regulations on sex and gender-themed children’s books at a public library board meeting, Thames and Lunsford made several negative posts about her online including one that she advocates teaching a certain sexual act to 11-year-olds.
“The court ruled that all the things that were said about her were opinions,” said Thames Attorney Joe Long.
The judge said the standards for defamation were not reached because the topic was a public matter. The judge also determined that Jones is a limited-purpose public figure because of how she introduced herself as an advocate at the meeting, and despite an alleged death threat, she was not harmed by what the two men said online.
“You know I said in another pleading that I thought it was weak and you know, I was not surprised,” said Long.
The next court date set in November will determine who is reliable to pay the attorney’s fees and that could fall on Jones.
“The judge is going to rule on whether it’s reasonable attorneys fees but it will certainly be five figures for both defendants each,” said Long.
Neither Jones nor her attorney would speak on camera, but her lawyer says they intend to appeal the judge’s ruling.