A Wisconsin school district is facing a lawsuit after staff reportedly said they would use a male name and male pronouns for a female student despite her parents’ objections.
What are the details?
According to a Wednesday report from the Post Millennial, the parents of a 12-year-old female student are suing the Kettle Moraine School District for violating the constitutional rights of the student’s parents by vowing to call her by the incorrect name and pronouns.
The outlet reported that an unnamed 12-year-old student within the district reportedly “began to experience significant anxiety and depression, and also began questioning her gender.”
The student’s mental health woes began to grow to the point that she required sessions at a mental health center “where she could process what she was experiencing.”
“But instead of helping her work through her questions about her gender, the center quickly ‘affirmed’ that she was really a transgender boy and encouraged her to transition to a male identity,” the suit added.
Following the recommendations, the child reportedly prepared for her return to school and announced that she wanted to be referred to with a male name and corresponding pronouns.
Several days before the young girl was to return to school, her parents emailed the school guidance counselor and said that they wanted administrators, teachers, and staff to continue referring to the child by her legal name and regard her with correct biological pronouns.
Two days later, school Principal Michael Comiskey phoned the child’s parents and told them that district policy prohibited administrators from complying with the parents’ request and told them that they would refer to the child in whatever manner the child saw fit.
In light of the school’s decision, the parents were forced to pull their child from the district while the family began seeking out a more appropriate educational venture for their daughter.
The child’s mental and emotional condition reportedly continued to decline during the period after withdrawing from school, and she was said to have changed her mind “about wanting to transition to a male identity, deciding instead that she wanted to continue using her birth name and female pronouns.”
What do we know about the suit?
The suit, filed in the Waukesha County Circuit Court by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and Alliance Defending Freedom, alleged that the district infringed on the parents’ constitutional rights by interfering in their family decisions.
Court documents obtained by the Daily Signal state that the suit “seeks to vindicate one of the most fundamental constitutional rights every parent holds dear: the right to raise their children.”
“The Kettle Moraine School District has violated this foundational right by undermining and overriding parents’ decision-making role with respect to a major and controversial issue,” documents added.
The suit continued, “Specifically, the District has adopted a policy to allow, facilitate, and ‘affirm’ a minor student’s request to transition to a different gender identity at school — without parental consent and even over the parents’ objection.”
The suit also argued that the district effectively jumped the shark by automatically “affirming” the child’s gender dysphoria and sought to encourage it by referring to the child with opposite pronouns.
“[The child] expressed to her mother that ‘affirmative care really messed me up,’ explaining that the rush to affirm that she was really a boy added to her confusion and fueled anger towards her mother, but after taking more time to process her feelings, she realized her mother had been right to slow down the decision to transition,” the lawsuit added.
Kate Anderson, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, told the Daily Signal that such policies are inherently dangerous because they permit schools to encourage children to “begin transitioning into a gender identity that isn’t in accord with their biological sex.”
What’s worse, Anderson added, is that teachers and administrators don’t inform the parents of the child’s decision, and “in many cases lie to the parents affirmatively about what their student is doing at school.”
“When schools are blocking parents from basic information about their child’s healthcare, that prevents parents from doing what’s best for their kids and what, constitutionally, they have every right to do to direct the upbringing of their children,” Anderson added.