Two Colorado families are suing their school district, alleging that staff encouraged their daughters to join a “secret” LGBTQ club and concealed the club’s activities.
America First Policy Institute (AFPI) and Illumine Legal filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Poudre School District (PSD) on behalf of Johnathan and Erin Lee and Nick and Linnaea Jurich, who allege that their sixth grade daughters were recruited by a teacher to join Wellington Middle-High School’s “Genders and Sexualities Alliance” (GSA) Art club in May 2021. PSD employees allegedly told the girls to keep the meetings a “secret” from their parents, including that the club has a “what happens at GSA stays at GSA policy,” the lawsuit stated.
“It’s our responsibility to protect their innocence and stop those who are abusing their taxpayer-funded position to force a radical political agenda onto our nation’s youth,” Pam Bondi, chair of AFPI’s constitutional litigation partnership, said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “This lawsuit seeks to return the power to parents by reinforcing their Constitutional right to govern their child’s education and protect their future.”
The GSA club featured guest speakers, including a teacher who ran “SPLASH,” (Supporting Pride Learning and Social Happenings), a group that focuses on educating students on gender identity and sexual orientation, the lawsuit alleged. While speaking to the GSA club in May 2021, the teacher allegedly told students that “if they are not completely comfortable in their bodies, that means that they are transgender.”
Shortly after joining the GSA club, one of the girls allegedly told her parents she would be transitioning genders to a boy, the lawsuit stated. The girl had allegedly never expressed any confusion about her gender prior to joining the GSA club.
Moreover, one of the girls’ mental health significantly declined following her experiences in the GSA club, leading to her attempting suicide by drinking an ounce of bleach in December 2021, the lawsuit alleged.
The school district’s “Guidelines Supporting Transgender and Gender Expansive Nonconforming Students” states that “[p]rior to notification of any parent/guardian or guardian [sic] regarding the transition process, school staff should work closely with the student to assess the degree, if any, the parent/guardian will be involved in the process,” the lawsuit showed. This policy expressly excludes parents from their child’s gender transition, the lawsuit alleged.
School districts throughout the country have policies in place that keep students’ gender transitions a secret from parents; eight of the nation’s 20 largest school districts, which together enroll 2.5 million students, do not require staff to notify parents if their child changes their gender at school.
“Firmly established in its history and tradition, a parent’s right to direct a child’s education is one of the oldest liberties recognized by this Nation,” the lawsuit stated. “The United States long ago rejected the notion that a child’s education is in service to the state. When a child is educated, the moral and cultural values of one generation are passed down to the next, and so the concerns of the parents — not the state —are paramount in this process.”
Poudre School District, Poudre Board of Education and Wellington Middle-High School did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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