Parents of a 13-year-old Florida girl filed a federal lawsuit last month against the school district after their daughter’s school pushed her to adopt a “gender transition” behind their backs. 

January and Jeffrey Littlejohn of Tallahassee, Florida, sued Deerlake Middle School officials for riding roughshod over their parental rights when they pushed their daughter into a school-sanctioned “gender transition plan” without them being notified, according to the Washington Examiner. 

“Defendants have violated plaintiffs’ fundamental rights by, among other things, implementing a protocol that explicitly circumvents parental notification and participation in critical decisions affecting their children’s mental, emotional and physical health, namely the children’s affirmation of a discordant gender identity and accommodations to facilitate the affirmation of the discordant gender identity at school,” the first section of the lawsuit reads.

In addition, regarding the school’s deceptive action, the suit alleges, “Defendants further violated plaintiffs’ fundamental rights by directing staff to deceive parents by using the children’s birth name and corresponding pronouns in the presence of or in communication with the parents while using the children’s new chosen name and pronouns at all other times.”

According to her mother, the girl who identifies herself as AG in the court documents had talked to her about her gender confusion and had even asked her if she could use a boy’s name, so both parents decided to find support from a psychological health counselor to try to help her with her gender dysphoria. 

According to the lawsuit, the girl’s parents discussed the situation with their daughter’s math teacher, Rima Kelly, who offered to tell school officials, something the Littlejohns declined to do.

But after a few weeks, they realized that the school had met with their daughter and was “collaborating” with her to adopt a gender change within the educational setting when their girl told them that she had been asked which bathroom she wanted to use.

The school did not deny that the meeting occurred on Sept. 8. To justify its action, it cited an anti-discrimination law that prohibited them from informing parents of such meetings unless the daughter authorized the parents to witness the meeting. 

The lawsuit says the School District is ordering school officials not to inform parents because the children may be homeless if the parents do not accept their new gender identity and bases this on a “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Gender Non-Conforming… Support Guide” created by the District’s LGBTQ Equity Committee.

Regarding this, Vernadette Broyles, the attorney for the plaintiff’s parents, stated, “What the school district did is tantamount to saying children need to be protected from their parents, rather than by their parents. This guidance that they had in place and their actions convey the message that parents are presumed to be dangerous to their children.”

“This lawsuit is really about protecting the rights of parents to raise their children without the interference of government officials,” Broyles said. “But it’s also about protecting and championing the vulnerable children that are at the center of these situations,” the Littlejohns’ attorney added.

The case is Littlejohn v. Leon County School Board is in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida awaiting resolution.

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