Parents of a 5-year-old “transgender child” filed a complaint against a charter school in St. Paul, Minnesota because it refused to include transgender-awareness studies in their preschool curriculum.
David and Hannah Edwards, a couple whose son is enrolled in Nova Classical Academy, are accusing the school of failing to protect their child from being bullied for being “transgender.” The Edwards felt their son was a girl at heart and so they helped him make all the external changes to convince the world of it too. They told the school that their child was officially a girl now, and requested the teachers and principal to teach the preschool children about transgender people to prevent “her” from getting bullied.
So during Nova’s anti-bullying week in October, the teachers began talking about genders in the classrooms and using the book “My Princess Boy” to expose the toddlers to the concept of gender fluidity. The principal followed up with an email to all parents reminding them to talk to their children about bullying at school.
Needless to say, this angered many Nova parents, who started a petition for the school to eliminate LGBT studies from the classroom. The parents also held a public meeting to express their concerns about the issue which was, of course, protested by LGBT activists. Almost a dozen students were pulled out of Nova by their parents.
The school agreed to call the Edwards’ son by his new name, but refrained from telling about the name change to other parents. Nova executive director Eric Williams told the Edwards the school needed more time to figure out how to teach trans studies to toddlers and that new books about transgenderism would have to be approved by several committees before being shown to the children.
The Edwards reacted by immediately pulling their child out of Nova in February and filing a complaint against the school, with the St. Paul Human Rights Department in March. The complaint began:
We are filing this charge on behalf of our minor child who was a kindergarten student at the Respondent school, Nova Classical Academy, for part of the 2015-2016 school year. When she began at Nova in September 2015, our child presented as a gender-nonconfonning boy- that is, as a boy who preferred clothing and activities often associated with girls. Over the following months, it became apparent that our child actually had a female gender identity. In keeping with that, she underwent a social gender transition everywhere but at Nova, and she now presents as a transgender girl.
After listing the ways in which they felt their son was being discriminated against at the school for not fully receiving the encouragement “to undergo a gender transition in a safe and timely way,” the Edwards’ concluded:
In light of these and other actions, we therefore allege that Respondent Nova Classical Academy discriminated against our child in violation of the City of Saint Paul Human Rights Ordinance Section 183.05 in the area of education, on the basis of her gender identity and expression.
Nova administrators insist they have done everything they could to make the Edwards’ child feel safe.
“At Nova we are committed to providing a school environment free of gender-bias and discrimination of any kind, where every student feels safe, welcomed, accepted and valued,” they said in a statement to City Pages. “We plan to respond to the complaint by denying the allegations. We will present evidence that the school has taken all due measures to protect the student’s rights.”
Nova was given until April 20th to respond to the Edwards’ demands.