Legal battles are underway in various states as parents and schools clash over transgender policies and parental consent requirements.
In the Wisconsin case, two sets of parents represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit in Waukesha County Court against the Kettle Moraine School. The parents of a 12-year-old girl said that they withdrew their daughter from the district to “protect her mental health and preserve their parental role. The parents also argue the school district violated their constitutional rights as parents by using a male name and male pronouns to address their daughter at school without their consent.
In the Florida case, January and Jeffery Littlejohn of Tallahassee, Florida, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida last month after Deerlake Middle School failed to notify them that their daughter had entered a school-sanctioned gender transition plan. The school claimed nondiscrimination law barred them from informing the parents about the meeting with their daughter, in which they orchestrated the gender-transition plan.
The Littlejohns’ attorney, Vernadette Broyles, representing a non-profit law firm known as the Child and Parental Rights Campaign, said when the couple asked to see evidence of the law that the school was relying on, “They could not provide one.” The lawsuit goes on to claim that the school district was instead relying upon the LCS Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, and Questioning Support Guide, “which expressly directs school administrators to avoid notifying the child’s parents about a child’s gender identity.”
Broyles called the decision a national parental rights crisis, saying, “When parents are excluded from decisions affecting their child’s health and well-being and mental health, as this decision does, it harms children because it drives a wedge between the child and their parents, and many times, these are vulnerable children.”
Likewise, in the Wisconsin case, attorneys representing the plaintiffs argued that both the U.S. and state constitutions recognize the “inherent right” of parents to “direct the upbringing and education of children under their control” and that parents are the primary decision-makers in regards to their minor children.
Evidence is mounting that suburban parents are turning against local school boards that continue to refuse transparency and strive to limit parental involvement in educational decisions. In Virginia and New Jersey, Democrats underperformed electorally in key suburban counties, such as Loudoun County, where parents have brought recall measures against school board members and teachers have brought a lawsuit against the school board over their transgender policy.
Schools claim to care about the welfare of students yet are working to hide serious medical and emotional conditions and take away authority and consent from their parents and legal guardians. It’s no wonder some members of the House recently introduced a parents’ bill of rights. The Deerlake policy intentionally hides the fact that the school is aiding in the gender transition of a child, effectively taking over the traditional decision-making role of the parent. These school are doing immense harm to the students. Parents are the ones who, according to both the Supreme Court and moral law, are in charge of their child’s well-being, not schools. And they are the ones who will be dealing with any consequences of actions and decisions long after their children have moved beyond middle and high school.
The meteoric rise of homeschooling and the school choice movement is due in part to the public schools’ willful defiance of parents’ wishes and their commitment to pushing these radical views. If schools continue to undermine parents, they will soon find themselves with very few students left to teach.