Parents Sue School District for Allowing Student Gender Identity Switch Without Parental Notice

Breitbart reports, a group of parents in Madison, Wisconsin is suing the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), claiming it violated their parental rights by implementing a policy allowing children to change their name and gender identity without parental notice or consent.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed the lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court on behalf of the parents on Tuesday.

The lawsuit alleges that the school policy, issued in April 2018, directs teachers and staff to “conceal and even deceive parents about the gender identity their son or daughter has adopted at school.”

The MMSD policy, titled “Guidance & Policies to Support Transgender, Non-binary & Gender-Expansive Students,” contains content and information provided by LGBTQ+ rights activist group GLSEN.

On Page 9 of the policy document, the school district instructs about “Confidentiality”:

“The district shall ensure that all personally identifiable and medical information relating to transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive students shall be kept confidential in accordance with applicable state, local, and federal privacy laws. School staff shall not disclose any information that may reveal a student’s gender identity to others, including parents or guardians and other school staff, unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure.”

“Transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive students have the right to discuss and express their gender identity and expression openly and to decide when, with whom, and how much to share private information. If a student chooses to use a different name, to transition at school, or to disclose their gender identity to staff or other students, this does not authorize school staff to disclose a student’s personally identifiable or medical information.”

On Page 16, the policy states:

Students identified as transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive may have not come out to their families regarding their gender identity.

Disclosing a student’s personal information such as gender identity or sexual orientation can pose imminent safety risks, such as losing family support and housing.

  • All staff correspondence and communication to families in regard to students shall reflect the name and gender documented in Infinite Campus unless the student has specifically given permission to do otherwise. (This might involve using the student’s affirmed name and pronouns in the school setting, and their legal name and pronouns with family).

  • In the event that a student insists on maintaining privacy from their family, student services staff shall discuss with the student contingency plans in the event that their privacy is compromised.

“Madison schools have adopted policies that violate constitutionally recognized parental rights,” said WILL President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg. “A public school district should not, and cannot, make decisions reserved for parents.”

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

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