Parent group files lawsuit against Eau Claire school district over gender identity policy

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WKBT) — A group of parents filed a federal lawsuit against the Eau Claire Area School District over a gender identity policy.

“Parents Protecting Our Children” filed their case in the U.S. District Court of Western Wisconsin with help from two conservative law firms alleging that a school policy on gender identity violates parents’ constitutional rights.

According to the school policy, transgender students and parents are encouraged to contact a staff member to “address any concerns, needs, or requests.” When appropriate, the policy says, the principal or designee sets up a meeting to discuss the student’s needs and to develop a “Student Gender Support Plan“. The plan addresses name and pronouns desired by the student, restroom and locker use, athletics participation, and potential transition plans.

The policy goes on to say that some transgender or non-binary students are not open at home about their gender identity for reasons that might include safety concerns or lack of acceptance. School staff are told to speak with the student first before discussing a student’s gender nonconformity or transgender status with the student’s parent or guardian. The gender support plan states that if “they do not want parents to know, it shall be made clear to the student that this plan is a student record and will be released to their parents when they request it.”

The lawsuit alleges that the purpose of this policy is to “prevent parents from making critical decisions for their own minor children” and brings up concerns of religious liberty. The school district’s policy states that the purpose is to foster inclusive and welcoming environments that are free from discrimination, harassment, and bullying regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Parents in Waukesha County filed a similar lawsuit against Kettle Moraine School District in 2021.

Read the full filing here: Complaint-v.-Eau-Claire-School-District

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