Why Did Shawn McBreairty Commit Suicide? Conservative Activist from Hampden Passed Away

Shawn McBreairty, a prominent conservative activist known for his contentious battles with local school districts in Maine, died by suicide on Monday at the age of 53. His death was confirmed by a former Hermon School Committee member, who received the information from a deputy of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office.

Shawn McBreairty

What Happened To Shawn McBreairty?

McBreairty’s death has prompted an outpouring of grief, with hundreds of condolence messages posted on the Facebook page of his wife, Patti McBreairty. He is also survived by their twin daughters.

McBreairty gained notoriety for his vehement accusations against Maine school districts, state agencies, teachers, and other entities, alleging that they were indoctrinating students and teaching critical race theory. He was vocal in his opposition to certain books in school libraries and reading lists, particularly those by LGBTQ+ authors and authors of color.

In recent years, McBreairty was entangled in legal disputes with several school departments, including Brewer, Hermon, and Regional School Unit (RSU) 22 in Hampden. Despite his fervent activism, he faced significant opposition and controversy.

A source close to the situation, who spoke anonymously due to fear of retaliation, revealed details about McBreairty’s death. His attorney, Marc Randazza, and his other attorney, Brett Baber, both declined to comment on the matter. Calls to McBreairty’s cellphone were answered by a family member who also declined to comment.

Most recently, on February 22, 2024, McBreairty filed a lawsuit against Brewer High School officials, including Superintendent Gregg Palmer, Principal Brent Slowikowski, and English teacher Michelle MacDonald. He argued that Brewer High School students should be allowed to petition the school to reverse its transgender bathroom policy, which permits students to use facilities corresponding with their gender identity.

Brewer attorney Melissa Hewey commented that it is too soon to determine how McBreairty’s death will impact the lawsuit, emphasizing that his family needs time to process their loss.

McBreairty had a history of successful legal actions, including a 2022 lawsuit against RSU 22, which resulted in a $40,000 settlement after a federal judge ruled that the school board could not ban him from its meetings. This lawsuit stemmed from an incident where McBreairty refused to stop playing a recording the district considered obscene at an April 2022 meeting. He sued the board again in March 2023, claiming his right to free speech was infringed upon when he was not allowed to speak during the public comment portions of RSU 22 school board meetings.

Since 2021, McBreairty had made numerous appearances on conservative media outlets, including Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Faulkner Focus, Sky News Australia, The Ingraham Angle, and Fox & Friends, where he shared his views and activism.

The community is left grappling with the complex legacy of Shawn McBreairty, a figure who inspired both staunch support and significant controversy.

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