‘This is a life-altering decision that educators have no business making…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) A group of parents filed a lawsuit against the Madison, Wisconsin school district this week, alleging the district’s transgender policy infringes on parents’ constitutional rights by prohibiting teachers and faculty from informing parents of their students’ gender transitions.
The policy, adopted in 2018, states that gender identity is not the same thing as biological sex, and encourages teachers and faculty members to encourage students to discover their own “sense of self.”
The policy even goes so far as to say that it is the school district’s responsibility to “disrupt the gender binary” in its curriculum.
The district technically requires parental consent before students can change their name or gender in official school records, but the 2018 policy allows teachers to bypass that requirement and encourage students to pick new pronouns and names anyways.
These new pronouns and names are then hidden from the students’ parents, according to the lawsuit.
“This is a life-altering decision that educators have no business making,” Alliance Defending Freedom’s Roger Brooks, who is representing the parents, said in a statement. “This should serve as a wake-up call to parents and all Americans: When schools cast aside biological reality in favor of gender identity ideology, it’s children who are hurt the most.”
District spokesman Tim LeMonds said the district hasn’t been served with the lawsuit yet, but added that the district stands by its guidance on transgender students. LeMonds also said the district still requires students to fill out a legal form obtaining their parents’ consent.
“It is with this focus, the district stands by its guidance document on transgender and nonbinary students, and recognizes its tremendous responsibility to uphold the right of every child to be educated in a safe, all-inclusive and nondiscriminatory learning environment,” he said, according to the Wisconsin State-Journal.
But the parents contended that teachers deliberately ignore this legal requirement, citing two examples in their lawsuit in which transgender ideology was intentionally pushed onto students without the parents’ consent. By keeping parents in the dark, the parents argued the school district is violating their constitutional rights to guide their children through life-altering decisions.
“There is no compelling government interest in keeping secret from parents that their child is dealing with gender dysphoria,” the lawsuit states.
The 2018 policy is also a violation of the parents’ right to religious freedom, the lawsuit contends.
Because many of these parents believe gender is not fluid, they argued that they should have the right to treat their children as they see fit.
If their children suffer from gender dysphoria, the parents said they should know so that they can “pursue a treatment approach to help them identify and address the underlying causes of the dysphoria and learn to embrace their biological sex,” the lawsuit states.
The district’s transgender policy is also detrimental to students’ psychological health, according to Dr. Stephen Levine, a psychiatrist who filed an affidavit along with the parents’ lawsuit.
“For a child to live radically different identities at home and at school, and to conceal what he or she perceives to be his or her true identity from parents, is psychologically unhealthy in itself, and could readily lead to additional psychological problems,” Levine wrote in his affidavit. “Extended secrecy and a ‘double life’ concealed from the parents is rarely the path to psychological health. For this reason at least, schools should not support deceit of parents.”