A group of 14 parents from eight families have filed a lawsuit against a Wisconsin school district over its policy requiring teachers to call students by their preferred names and pronouns.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) filed the lawsuit in Dane County court against the Madison Metropolitan School District on Tuesday.
Filed on behalf of the group of parents, most of whom are Christian, the lawsuit opposes the school district’s policies that allow children of any age to change their gender identity at school without parental consent.
“Madison schools have adopted policies that violate constitutionally recognized parental rights,” WILL President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg said in a statement. “A public school district should not, and cannot, make decisions reserved for parents.”
MMSD adopted a set of guidelines on transgender and nonbinary students in April 2018. The guidelines stipulate that children of any age are allowed to transition to a different gender identity at school.
Although school district policies require parental consent before a student’s name can be officially changed in the system, the policy gives students the ability to have their preferred names and pronouns “affirmed” and used by teachers and students without having to change the official records.
The affirmation of a student’s preferred name and gender can be done “regardless of parent/guardian permission to change their name and gender in [the district’s] systems.”
The lawsuit claims that the policy goes as far as to prohibit school district employees from notifying parents that their child will have their preferred pronoun and name affirmed at school.
The lawsuit further argues that the school district policy requires teachers and staff to “deceive parents” by using the student’s name and biological pronouns whenever they are around the child’s parents.
When students express a desire for teachers to use a preferred pronoun, teachers are required under the policy to fill out a “confidential form.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith