Conservative law firm to sue Madison schools over gender policy that deceives parents

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The Madison Metropolitan School District faces a lawsuit from a conservative advocacy group over discrepancies with the school district’s gender identity policies. Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

A school policy designed to “protect” students from their “transphobic” parents faces a lawsuit by a conservative group, according to the University of Wisconsin’s Daily Cardinal.

The Madison, Wis. Metropolitan School District has not made any changes to its gender identity policy as the suit’s Jan. 31 deadline draws near.

The Wisconsin Institute for Life and Liberty demanded on Dec. 17, 2019 that the district “remove problematic policies” that prohibit school staff from disclosing “any information that may reveal a student’s gender identity to others — including parents or guardians and other school staff — unless the student authorized such a disclosure.”

The policy was ostensibly designed to support transgender students and prevent bullying. It bars school faculty from disclosing personal or medical information of students who choose to transition or assume a different gender identity at school unless authorized by the individual student.

In its December letter, WILL wrote on behalf of 15 parents whose children attend schools in the Madison schools that recently adopted these guidelines, stating they violate their clients’ “constitutional rights as parents.”

“Specifically, the policy allows children of any age to change gender identity at school without parental notice or consent, prohibits teachers and other staff from notifying parents about this (without the child’s consent), and — in some circumstances — even requires teachers and other staff to actively deceive parents,” the letter stated.

The conservative think tank argued that parents should be able to make important decisions regarding their children’s health. WILL also alleged that psychological distress triggers gender dysphoria, which can be treated by mental health professionals and that the school district’s policies detract from parents abilities to “raise their children in accordance with their religious beliefs,” according to a press release.

Amira Pierotti, who co-leads Madison Memorial High School’s Gender Equity Association, said, “This [potential lawsuit] isn’t for the betterment of others — this is because you are scared you don’t know what’s going on with your kids and you’re afraid they’re trans or gender-expansive because you are transphobic.”

WILL deputy counsel Luke Berg confirmed Friday that the organization would file a lawsuit, but would not specify when.

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