Parental rights advocacy group Parents Defending Education (PDE) has filed a lawsuit against Linn-Mar Community School District (LMCSD) in Iowa. The lawsuit alleges that the district is violating students’ First and 14th Amendment rights with its “Transgender and Students Nonconforming to Gender Role Stereotypes” policy. In a press release, PDE explained:
On April 25, 2022, the Linn-Mar School Board voted through policy 504.13 against the protestations of dozens of community members, while telling parents that such a change merely codified district practices that had been ongoing for the past five years. LMCSD’s “parental exclusion policy” asserts that the district will not disclose a student’s “transgender status” to parents unless that student specifically authorizes it, and that “any student in seventh grade or older will have priority of their support plan over their parent/guardian” – which means that in practice, these gender-identity decisions will be made solely by the student and school administrators.
The organization also noted that “The policy specifically emphasizes that gender support plans are to be kept in a separate ‘temporary’ file, so that materials and records related to the gender support plan will NEVER be accessible to parents.”
PDE is filing the lawsuit “on behalf of several members in the district whose children are directly impacted by policy 504.13 on both the parental exclusion provision as well as the compelled speech provision,” and pointed out that children on the autism spectrum are more vulnerable to being influenced to transition to the opposite gender. I wrote on this in another piece.
Ever since it was discovered that school districts were presenting radical progressive ideas inspired by critical race theory in K-12 classrooms, a nationwide backlash has been in full swing. In fact, the effort to hold public schools accountable became even more pronounced after it was revealed that these districts were also infusing problematic teachings on gender identity into the classroom. It became even worse when parents realized that many of these institutions were helping children transition to the opposite gender without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
People opposing these troubling trends in schools have fought back by protesting at school board meetings and exposing the material being presented to small children. States have passed laws restricting these teachings. But PDE is showing another avenue through which these schools can be held accountable: The legal system. They have filed several lawsuits against school districts with illegal racial policies and even against the Biden administration. I had the pleasure of interviewing the organization’s president, Nicole Neily, about PDE’s legal action against the White House’s fake education advisory council.
Passing laws and protesting at school board meetings are both necessary methods for getting these teachings and practices out of our public schools. Gaining political power by winning school board seats is also a must. But the courts are another weapon Americans can use to go after these school districts, none of which would be happy about the prospect of facing lawsuits. PDE and other entities are on the front lines in this regard and yet another reason why we will eventually win this battle.