14 Parents Sue School District over Policy Allowing Children to Change Name, Gender Identity at School without Parental Consent
Fourteen parents representing eight families from a Wisconsin school district have filed a lawsuit against the district over a policy that requires teachers to call students by their preferred names and pronouns without parental permission or acknowledgment.
According to The Christian Post, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty – which is representing the families – filed the lawsuit against the Madison Metropolitan School District this week.
At least 11 of the parents involved in the lawsuit are Christians, The Christian Post reports.
“Madison schools have adopted policies that violate constitutionally recognized parental rights,” WILL President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg said in a statement. “A public school district should not, and cannot, make decisions reserved for parents.”
A school district spokesperson said they could not comment on the lawsuit.
The lawsuit says that the school district cannot allow children of any age to change their gender identity without parental consent.
The school district approved its guidelines on transgender and nonbinary students in April 2018. The adopted policy says that any of the district’s children can change their gender identity at school.
While the school district does require parental consent to officially change a student’s name in the district system, the 2018 policy allows students to request to use their preferred names and pronouns.
According to the lawsuit, the policy does not require school district staff to notify parents that their child has requested a preferred name or gender change.
The lawsuit says the school district policy tries to “evade” a state law that gives parents access to school records. The lawsuit adds that the policy recommends teachers keep paperwork related to the child’s request to use a preferred name or pronoun in a teacher’s confidential records.
“Some professionals believe that ‘affirming’ a child’s alternate gender identity too quickly can ‘reinforce’ and ‘solidify’ gender dysphoria that otherwise might resolve itself,” the lawsuit adds, citing a report from Kenneth J. Zucker of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.