A group of parents whose children attend government schools in the Madison Metropolitan School District in Wisconsin challenged the district’s policy, “Guidance and Policies to Support Transgender, Non-binary & Gender-Expansive Students,” which instructs teachers to help students of any age “transition” without notifying parents or receiving their consent.
In fact, the policy bars teachers from telling parents that their children are going through this sort of mental health or peer pressure crisis.
Similar to Geary County Schools in Kansas, teachers in the Wisconsin school district are instructed essentially to lie to parents by using the “transgender” student’s legal name when meeting with parents instead of the student’s new name. In that case, teacher Pamela Ricard refused to deceive parents and filed a lawsuit after the district suspended her. A court granted her request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to protect her from further retaliation.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) and Alliance Defending Freedom represent the parents challenging the policy. WILL contends that the policy violates constitutionally protected parental rights.
A lower court granted the parents’ group a paritial injunction that prevents the school district from “applying or enforcing any policy, guideline, or practice” that “allows or requires District staff to conceal information or to answer untruthfully in response to any question that parents ask about their child at school, including information about the name and pronouns being used to address their child at school.”
But the injunction does not go far enough. It still allows minor students to transition at school without parental notice or consent, and for the District to hide this from parents until they specifically ask about it. Judge Remington also partially denied the parents request to remain anonymous.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court granted the case and will determine whether WILL’s clients can proceed anonymously and whether Judge Remington’s injunction goes far enough, in light of the potential for significant harm from a secret “affirmed” transition at school. A decision is expected in June or July.
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