Wisconsin court upholds parental rights in case against a school’s LGBT policy

by mcardinal

Megan Udinski, FISM News



Parents of a young girl won a benchmark case in Wisconsin on Wednesday against the Kettle Moraine School District and their LGBT policy. 

The school has an LGBT policy which allows students “to socially transition to a different gender identity at school without parental consent and even over the parents’ objection.” The couple’s 12-year-old daughter expressed her desire to identify as male and use male pronouns after experiencing anxiety and depression leading her to question her gender.

While the school did report this information to the parents, they ignored the parents’ decision that indulging their daughter’s wishes would not be in her best interest. 

Due to the school’s inclusion policy, the parents withdrew their daughter from the school immediately and shortly thereafter, the daughter’s demeanor changed, and she determined she wanted to return to using her birth name and gender. 

The couple is being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. ADF senior counsel Roger Brooks commented, “Parents’ rights to direct the upbringing, education, and mental health treatment of their children is one of the most basic constitutional rights every parent holds dear, yet we are seeing more and more school districts across the country not only ignoring parents’ concerns but actively working against them.” 

The case began back in November 2021 when two sets of parents filed a case against the school district due to their transgender policy. On Wednesday, Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Michael P. Maxwell denied the school district’s motion to dismiss the case. Instead, he ruled the lawsuit “demonstrates a potential violation of their rights as parents to direct the upbringing of their child and is sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss.”

According to the case document, after the 12-year-old decided to stick to her birth gender and name after receiving counseling to allow her to explore the root of her feelings to change gender, she informed her parents that the “‘affirmative care [by the school district] really messed [her] up’ and that the rush to affirm that she was really a boy added to her confusion.” 

Had the school agreed to obey the parents’ request to continue using their daughter’s given name and pronouns, they would have loved to have remained in the Kettle Moraine district, but due to the lack of respect for parental authority, they have enrolled their daughter in a new school district. 

The fight for parents to retain the right to “direct the upbringing, education, and mental health treatment of their children” is taking place all over the country. The two legal groups are also fighting this battle against the Madison Metropolitan School District on behalf of 14 parents and just had oral arguments heard by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.