Dane County Circuit Court Judge Frank Remington has ruled that his district is prohibited from having a policy that encourages teachers to withhold information or falsely answer any questions that parents ask about their child at school, including information about the name and pseudonyms used to address their children in educational settings.
In February, a group of Wisconsin parents decided to file a lawsuit with the Madison School District, alleging that it violated their rights as parents by supporting students’ decisions to change names and gender pronouns if they so choose and not share them with their parents.
According to Fox News, the parents denounced policy that allows children, of any age, to change their gender identity at school without parental notice or consent, and instructs district employees to hide and even mislead parents about the gender identity their son or daughter has adopted at school. These policies violate fundamental, constitutionally recognized parental rights.
In addition, the policy states that the educational district is committed to reaffirming each student’s self-identified gender identity, and that the district will strive to “disrupt the binary gender system” with instructional materials that promote the idea that everyone has the right to choose his or her gender.
The policy guideline implemented by the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and now banned by Judge Frank Remington, was released publicly on Twitter in April 2018 and contains information provided by the LGBTQ rights activist group GLSEN.
Educators, if you're wondering how including pronouns can make your classroom more welcoming for students, check out this resource: https://t.co/uMUdr5dDwM
— GLSEN (@GLSEN) February 8, 2020
The parents who took the initiative to report the public establishment in question organized themselves under the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Freedom (WILL).
WILL President and general counsel Rick Esenberg said, “Madison schools have adopted policies that violate constitutionally recognized parental rights. A public school district should not, and cannot, make decisions reserved for parents.”
As WILL states on its official website, parents have the right to make important health care decisions on behalf of their children. The transition to a different gender identity is an important psychotherapeutic intervention that requires parental notification or consent. There are multiple treatment options for gender dysphoria, some of which do not involve transition, so parents should be involved in addressing the issue.
Although WILL representatives stated, according to Breitbart, that the ruling does not go far enough, deputy counsel Luke Berg said that the court order “is an important win for parental rights as the court considers this matter.”