Protection order against Mann is extended

Fierce schools critic originally ordered to stay away from schools, officials in 2017.

PORT ORCHARD — A protection order originally issued Nov. 1, 2017, against Larry Mann in Kitsap County District Court by Judge Marilyn Paja was extended on Oct. 26 at the request of South Kitsap School District Superintendent Karst Brandsma.

Paja granted a six-month extension and renewed the terms of the original order for protection from harassment or stalking from Nov. 1 through May 1, 2019.

Brandsma sought the original one-year order after the school district received more than a dozen anonymous letters from Mann over a two-year period that were addressed to the district and the superintendent’s office.

In the original court filings and during court proceedings last year, the district alleged that Mann’s letters included threats of violence, sexual comments about students, homophobic slurs and photos of individual staff and students. The letters produced in court were signed under the pseudonyms “Texas Momma” and “Prince of Darkness.”

Mann claimed in court he had received the letters in the mail and simply forwarded them to the district — his “civic duty” — according to his attorney Kerry Stevens.

Brandsma stated in court last year that the district had determined the letters had been penned by Mann under the pseudonyms.

Paja had issued a 13-page decision that stated: “Mr. Mann crossed the boundaries of communication protected by the First Amendment, and on multiple occasions over a period exceeding one year, harassed the school community led by Superintendent Mr. Brandsma composed of South Kitsap School District (SKSD) employees, staff, faculty, the elected Board members, the students, and himself. Communications sent to the SKSD were bullying, predatory, intimidating and offensive, and served no lawful purpose.”

The judge’s protection order extension continues a prohibition of his presence within 500 feet of Mr. Brandsma, his residence, and any South Kitsap School District school and property. He also is legally restrained from being within 50 feet of any district bus stop.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision to extend the original protection order,” Brandsma said in a school district news release issued Oct. 26.

“Threatening and harassing letters sent through the U.S. Mail is serious and frightening. The district’s top priority must be the safety of our students and staff. This decision agreed upon today, allows us to remain focused on educating the students in our community.”

Mann has been a fierce long-time critic of the school district and has filed statements against school measures in Kitsap County’s local voters’ pamphlets during previous election years.

This election cycle, Mann listed himself as chairperson of the so-called “Committee Against the Measure” and submitted statements against the school district’s bond measure to build a second high school and its capital projects levy. As the de facto opposition figure, a column written by Mann opposing the ballot propositions appeared alongside a column in favor of the measures written by Tiffany Wilhelm, president of the South Kitsap School Supporters organization.