Parents in Wisconsin are filing a joint lawsuit against the state’s second-largest school district after a policy that was instituted instructs teachers to use a child’s preferred name and pronouns in class but not in the presence of the parents. The district refused to back off of this policy which is causing an uproar among parental rights advocates in the state.
The group of 14 parents is represented by the Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty and is suing on the grounds that the school district is “adopting and implementing policies that violate the rights of district parents.” The law firm issued a demand letter in December urging the district to amend or abandon the policy in order to avoid a lawsuit. The school district did not relent.
One of the most contentious points in the school district’s policy states that “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.” It also says school staff will “discuss with the student contingency plans in the event that their privacy is compromised.”
The law firm argues that the district’s policy violates the rights of the parents by refusing them the “right to make important healthcare decisions on their children’s behalf,” interfering “with parents’ ability to provide the support their children may urgently need,” and not allowing parents to “exercise rights to raise their children in accordance with their religious beliefs and to select a treatment approach consistent with those beliefs.”