Parents reportedly suing school district after it allegedly helped secretly transition their child
'The war against our constitutional rights and our parental rights is out in the open, even in wild Wyoming,' one parent's rights advocate reportedly warned.
A Wyoming father and mother are reportedly suing their school district for allegedly helping their daughter socially transition behind their backs.
Sean and Ashley Willey are suing the Sweetwater County School District No. 1 board and some administrators for allegedly helping to gender-transition their daughter while actively hiding it from them. "A Rock Springs couple said their school district helped their daughter socially transition to a boy behind their backs and has coerced teachers into secretly affirming transgender students. The couple is suing the district and its top administrators," the Cowboy State Daily reported.
The debate over the ethics of allowing children to change their gender from male to female or vise-versa remains one of America’s most politically divisive topics. This debate is especially salient when it comes to education and its influence over children while their parents are at work.
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"The Willeys as parents assert three civil challenges against the district and administrators: that the defendants took away the Willeys’ parental and due process rights, familial privacy rights, and religious rights," Cowboy State Daily wrote. "Ashley Willey alleges two more civil counts against the district and administrators as a teacher under their policies: that they took away her right to the free exercise of religion and right to free speech."
The same outlet also reported that the couple are asking the federal court to block this district’s policies that aid children transitioning in secret without their parents’ knowledge.
One notable complication is that the school reportedly accommodates Sean and Ashley Willey's daughter's mental health issues already.
"The girl has a history of trauma and has been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder. She also has a 504 plan, or educational plan to accommodate her conditions, which requires the school to involve her parents in her mental health treatment," Cowboy State Daily reported. "The Willeys have taken the girl to see a counselor for years, the complaint states."
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School board Chairwoman Carol Jelaco reportedly claimed at a school board meeting in September that "whatever the student wants is paramount" when "there is a fear from the student" regarding parents learning of their gender transition process.
Mailyn Salabarria, the director of community engagement for the parent activist group Parents Defending Education told the Washington Examiner that officials’ statements at the September meeting indicate that "the war against our constitutional rights and our parental rights is out in the open, even in wild Wyoming."
"This notion that keeping information from parents is for the sake of the students’ safety is laughable," Salabarria said. "Educators and school administrators are mandatory reporters when it comes to abuse and neglect. Wyoming already has legislation in place to safeguard minors in those circumstances. If safety is the concern, why aren’t they using the process already in place?"
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The New York Times quoted American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer Jon Davidson who reportedly "argued that it’s unconstitutional for public schools to reveal a student’s gender identity to others."
He reportedly argued, "Parents don’t have a constitutional right to dictate to schools how they should create an optimal learning environment for students."
ACLU Southern California has a similar statement, "even if you are ‘out’ about your sexual orientation or gender identity at school, if you're not ‘out' to your parents at home, and you can reasonably expect that they're not going to find out, then school staff can't tell your family that you are LGBTQ without your permission." It added further, "Being open about your sexuality in school doesn't mean you automatically give up your right to privacy outside school."