With the rise of woke education, stories of schools hiding students’ gender transitions from parents have proliferated — and a spate of lawsuits have followed.
It’s getting harder for liberals to claim conservatives are manufacturing a fake crisis.
From Florida to California and back, parents have been taking legal action against education systems they say are secretly indoctrinating their children with destructive ideas about gender.
FLORIDA: Wendell and Maria Perez of Jacksonville sued the Clay County School District in January alleging that an elementary school counselor met with their 12-year-old daughter for months to discuss her “gender confusion.”
- “The school counselor went so far as to encourage and call our daughter by a fictitious male name, and male pronouns in front of other students, causing a pattern of bullying against our daughter,” Wendell Perez alleged in the suit. “And again, all this, behind our backs.”
- The Perezes, who are represented by the Child and Parental Rights Campaign, said they were only notified about their daughter’s male gender identity after she attempted suicide on campus twice in two days.
- The district denied the allegations in a statement, saying: “The district has performed a thorough and complete investigation into this matter as it was presented to us and has determined that the allegations made by this out-of-state organization are completely false, fabricated and appear to be intended solely for the purpose of inciting the public.”
CALIFORNIA: Also in January, Jessica and Gunter Konen filed a lawsuit claiming their 11-year-old daughter was “coached” to adopt a transgender identity by two teachers who ran the Buena Vista Middle School Equality Club.
- According to suit— which named the teachers and the Spreckels Union School District — Jessica Konen was called into the principal’s office in December 2019 and told her daughter was transgender.
- In a statement of facts, Jessica Konen and her daughter — who is now “back to her old self” according to the mother — noted that in a leaked recording the teachers bragged about having “stalked” students’ internet search activity to identify potential members for the Equality Club.
- One of the teachers, both of who were placed on administrative leave pending an independent investigation, has said their comments were taken out of context, and the stalking remark was only a joke.
- “The claim submitted by Ms. Konen will be addressed in the appropriate manner within the judicial system,” Spreckels Union Elementary School District Superintendent Eric Tarallo commented to the New York Post. “We are currently reviewing and updating our policies and procedures regarding student clubs and will bring those draft policies to the Board of Education as soon as feasible.”
The school reportedly called the parents in for a meeting where they informed them that their daughter is trans. The teacher then proceeded to call CPS on them when they didn’t use the “correct” name and pronouns.
This is the dad’s speech tonight: pic.twitter.com/17gl3QBRrQ
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) December 16, 2021
WISCONSIN: Two sets of parents sued the Kettle Moraine School District in November over its policy allowing students to change the names and pronouns used in school without the notification of their parents.
- “Schools cannot override parents when it comes to decisions about their children. Gender identity transitions are no exception. Schools must defer to parents about what is best for their child,” commented Luke Berg, the deputy counsel for the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, one of the organizations handling the case for the parents.
- The district declined to comment to The Hill.
FLORIDA: Also in November, January and Jeffrey Littlejohn of Tallahassee, Florida, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit after Deerlake Middle School enrolled their 13-year-old daughter in the school’s gender-transition program.
- Per the LGBT student “support guide” given to employees of the Leon County School District, staff were directed to start using the girl’s preferred name and pronouns among other actions to “affirm” her gender without the knowledge of the Littlejohns.
- “We had a guide to help teachers and administrators have conversations and protect and support children who came to them that were battling gender identity issues. Teachers and administrators don’t want to be in that space, but our job is to protect and support children. Period,” Leon Superintendent Rocky Hanna told local radio station WFSU.
- “That student approached [the teachers],” Hanna added, denying that the Littlejohns’ experience is “commonplace.” “They went to them for guidance and help. And all our people were trying to do was keep that child in a safe place.”
The Littlejohns’ case was cited by GOP lawmakers as a catalyst for Florida’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law, which prohibited classroom instruction about sexuality and gender from kindergarten through third grade.
Many liberal commentators have downplayed or dismissed allegations of “grooming” by educators as right-wing hysteria.
- But school districts across the country, from Maryland to Washington state, have explicit policies excluding parents from being informed about their minor children’s gender- and sexuality-related activities at school.
- Meanwhile, other Republican-run legislatures, including in Texas and Ohio, have taken up their own “Don’t Say Gay” bills.