US Supreme Court Declines Maryland Parents' Challenge to School Transgender Policy

Person holding sign encouraging use of gender pronouns. (Credit: Unsplash/Alexander Grey.)

It's not an overstatement to say that, in many jurisdictions - mostly in the deep-blue cities and states - parental rights are under attack. Parents are denied input into their children's educations, health care, and even their personal decisions, to an ever-increasing and unacceptable decree.

We would like to be able to count on the courts to set these things straight, but now we see that this isn't always the case, even at the conservative-dominated Supreme Court.

On Monday, SCOTUS declined to hear a Maryland case, John and Jane Parents 1 v. Montgomery County Board of Education, that sought to strike down the Montgomery County School Board's policy to facilitate children's gender transitions without notifying their parents.

The case, John and Jane Parents 1 v. Montgomery County Board of Education, centered on whether the parents have the proper standing to file the suit. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August that three parents in Montgomery County, Maryland, lacked standing to challenge the policy.

The parents had argued that the district’s 2020-21 gender identity policy authorized concealing information about a child’s preferred pronouns and gender identity from parents.

The 4th Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, denied the parents standing because they did "not allege that their children have gender support plans, are transgender or even struggling with issues of gender identity."

It seems the obvious answer here would be to re-file the suit with the parents of a child who has "transgendered," socially or otherwise, without his/her (sorry, those are the only options) parents being notified. While I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on television, this seems like the obvious answer to the problem.

The original Maryland court ruling was in 2022 and attempted to thread the needle of notifying parents only if they agree with and support their children's decision to transition.

U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm for the District of Maryland, an Obama appointee, first ruled against the parents in August 2022.

"The Guidelines carefully balance the interests of both the parents and students, encouraging parental input when the student consents, but avoiding it when the student expresses concern that parents would not be supportive, or that disclosing their gender identity to their parents may put them in harm's way," Grimm wrote. 

It sure seems like this decision removes parents' rights, not if their child is in danger - they would have to be in danger from the parents for this reading to make any sense - but if their parents disapprove of their minor children making a decision that has permanent, life-changing consequences.

Bear in mind that we are talking about children who are not considered mature enough to join the military, buy a beer, buy a rifle or shotgun, get married, sign a contract, or vote.

See Related: Boos Rain Down As Oregon High School Transgender Runner Places 1st in Girls' State Championship Race 

Federal Appeals Court: Maryland Parents Can't Opt K-5 Kids Out of LGBTQ Subjects in Schools

Court cases like this, especially in deep-blue Maryland, may be doomed to this kind of decision. But there is another answer: if the local parents can muster the time and numbers, let them stand for school board elections. This has already proven effective in other areas, including deeply liberal California. Liberals have for many years dominated a lot of local school boards, as well as teaching and school administration roles. These are the roles that conservatives (and libertarians) will have to seek to take on, to take over, and to reverse the long march through the institutions that have brought us to this pass in the first place.


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