Several parents have filed a suit against a Wisconsin school district challenging a policy that allows teachers and school officials to refer to children by different names and gender pronouns without parental consent or knowledge.
Represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, the parents are arguing that a Kettle Moraine School District policy takes away their right to make decisions about what is best for their children.
One of the sets of parents suing the district said they took their 12-year old daughter out of the Kettle Moraine school system after finding out that her teachers were referring to their daughter by a male name and using male pronouns without their knowledge.
After protesting the matter, the parents say that the school cited its policy that said educators did not need parental consent to use a different pronoun or name than those given by the parents. In effect, the policy allows for teachers and officials the ability to get around parents who do not want their child moving toward gender transition.
Another set of parents joined onto the lawsuit, concerned about what impacts the policy might have on their children.
ADF said that the school district did not respond to a letter they sent asking the district to change its policy. After this effort failed, the suit challenging the policy was filed Wednesday in the Waukesha Circuit Court.
“Parents’ rights to direct the upbringing, education, and mental health treatment of their children is one of the most basic constitutional rights every parent holds dear. Yet we are seeing more and more school districts across the country not only ignoring parents’ concerns, but actively working against them,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kate Anderson.
She argued that it is dangerous to allow schools to have the power to override and lie to parents by concealing information about their children.
Anderson told The Daily Wire that she believes that many schools across the country have adopted similar policies to that of the Kettle Moraine School district. She said the Kettle Moraine policy means that the school can “allow and even encourage students to change their gender identity without telling parents, and in many cases lying to parents.”
She also added that the parents, who say their daughter was referred to by school employees by a male name and pronouns, had sought out counseling to help with her mental health.
According to Anderson, the school refused to work with the parents and their daughter’s counselor and disregarded the parent’s wishes for their daughter to no longer be referred to with male pronouns at school.
“The parents in this case know and love their daughter and are doing their best to get her the expert care she needs in her battle with anxiety and depression,” Anderson added, “We are asking the court to respect the serious concerns of these parents by ensuring Kettle Moraine School District swiftly changes its policy that is undermining parents and harming children.”
A spokesperson for the school district declined to comment.
The lead counsel of the case, B.F. vs Kettle Moraine, is Luke Berg of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. He said that schools did not have the power to make decisions about children that parents did not support.
“Schools cannot override parents when it comes to decisions about their children,” Berg said, “Schools must defer to parents about what is best for their child.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom said that it was looking to become more involved in challenging policies across the nation that allow educators to conceal information from parents about their children.
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