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Filmmaker Eli Steele released "Killing America" on all possible platforms to undermine what he believes are efforts to silence his documentary that explores whether an emphasis on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and other race issues contributed to antisemitism plaguing a California school district.

"If we stand back and do nothing, then we are part of killing America," Steele told Fox News Digital.

"We really have to stand up and question," he continued. "Why do we let these people educate our children who are ideologues?"

The 38-minute "Killing America" examines widespread antisemitism in San Francisco-area schools after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 and whether educational standards being lowered in the name of equity resulted in pushback against Israel and Jewish people. The film notes that racial equity is often prioritized ahead of merit at the schools in question, and honor classes were removed as ethnic studies were added.

But when the film’s trailer featured footage from a Sequoia Union High School District board meeting, Steele was hit with a cease-and-desist letter from a student newspaper of one of the schools in the film, Menlo-Atherton High School’s M-A Chronicle.

YouTube and Vimeo took down the "Killing America" trailer as a result of the cease and desist, which Steele said would have greatly diminished his opportunity to promote "Killing America" ahead of its original scheduled release in October, so he decided to put the entire film online for free.

Steele, who previously worked for Fox News, has said the film "was a labor of love for me, a continuation of my family’s legacy of civil rights activism that dates back to 1942" and blasted attempts to ban it as "nothing short of weaponized censorship."

"These left-wing activists cannot stand dissent or opposition to the ideological order they seek to impose in our schools as well as our larger society. What you are witnessing here is the weaponization of the copyright law in these ugly culture wars to prevent my film from being shown in its full form. This is nothing less than suppression of free speech, which includes artistic expression and free thought," Steele posted on X.

"The ‘crime’ that Killing America commits is telling the truth during these ideological times. Watch the film, and you’ll see why extremist ideologues are doing everything in their power to censor the film and why I decided not to play their game and go straight to you, The People," he continued. "Lastly, I have made the point to release this film as widely as possible for free because I want the word out. We've been too far timid, and we've allowed ourselves to be intimidated for too long, so please share this film widely."

The cease and desist, sent from the Editorial Board of the M-A Chronicle, accused Steele of using footage and images of the school board meeting without permission.

"We are the creators and sole authorized distributors of all works referenced above. You neither requested nor received permission to use our works, therefore your unauthorized copying and use of our copyrighted work constitutes copyright infringement in violation of the United States copyright laws," the Editorial Board of the M-A Chronicle wrote before requesting that Steele remove all "infringing content" within 10 days and permanently halt all distribution.

"If you do not cease and desist within the above stated time period, we will be forced to take appropriate legal action against you and will seek all available damages and remedies," the Editorial Board of the M-A Chronicle wrote.

Steele previously made "How Jack Became Black" about multiracial families and "What Killed Michael Brown?" about the Black man whose killing in self-defense by a police officer in 2014 sparked riots in Ferguson, Mo. He believes his latest film does nothing to violate the fair use doctrine. He said footage of the school board meeting is vital to the story, was not used excessively, doesn’t harm the copyright holder’s ability to make a profit, and he didn’t need to ask permission.

"Every lawyer that we’ve talked to is just like, ‘This is insane,’" Steele said.

The filmmaker also believes that the school paper’s editorial board, presumably made up of high-school aged minors, sent the letter at the request of an adult who wants to protect the school board from an unflattering documentary.

"Now the big question is, ‘Are the kids operating alone?’ I have very serious doubts," Steele said.

The M-A Chronicle insists it was not influenced by non-students.

"All editorial decisions are made independently of school administration and staff in accordance with state law. No district or school administrator was involved in the decision-making process. The M-A Chronicle, after consulting a student-press lawyer, does not believe that the documentary’s use of our materials falls under fair use. The photos and videos were not significantly changed, were not used for protected criticism of the works themselves, and reduced the value of the works. These works have recently been registered with the US Copyright Office," the M-A Chronicle editorial board told Fox News Digital.

"Minors are legally allowed to claim copyright and send DMCA requests. The producers have every right to release their documentary without the use of our media. Our objective is not to censor the documentary but simply remove our materials," the editorial board continued. "The M-A Chronicle reports on detracking and acts of antisemitism within the Sequoia Union High School District, and we are often critical of our school and district. The inclusion of our content in the documentary could make it more difficult to be seen as objective reporters on these issues, as community members have already questioned if we were a part of this documentary."