A pair of Colorado families have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against their children’s school district, alleging school officials secretly recruited their children for an after-school club focused on gender and sexual orientation.
The lawsuit is being brought by the America First Policy Institute and Illumine Legal on behalf of Johnathan and Erin Lee and Nicolas and Linnaea Jurich against the Poudre School District (PSD). The complaint (pdf) alleges officials at Wellington Middle School (WMS) in PSD had convinced their children to join a Gender and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) after-school club where a guest speaker “introduced concepts of gender fluidity and various types of sexual attraction.”
Both families allege that school officials and GSA club members used deceitful tactics to recruit their children into the club, and encouraged secretive behavior to keep their parents from knowing what they were doing. The lawsuit states that agents of the school district who were involved in the GSA club told the children participating that, “discussing GSA materials at home with their families might not be safe.”
The lawsuit claims an art teacher had invited the Lee’s daughter, who is interested in art, into a “GSA Art Club” without explaining the GSA acronym to her or her parents.
The lawsuit claims the Jurich family was similarly led to believe their daughter was attending an anime club when she was actually attending a GSA club meeting. The Jurich family claimed their daughter knew she was actually going to attend a GSA meeting instead of an anime club, but was convinced by a transgender friend in the GSA club to lie to her parents.
“This sort of misdirection reflected the secrecy and subterfuge in which the Club encouraged children to engage, as well as the mistrust of parents and destruction of the parent-child relationship that the Club engendered,” the civil complaint said of the Jurich family’s situation.
It was within this secretive setting that the lawsuit alleges officials involved in the GSA club taught children about polyamory, suicide, puberty blockers, transgenderism and gender identities, sexualities, and changing names and pronouns.
The lawsuit further claims that one of the teachers involved in the club presented herself as a more trustworthy adult to talk to than the children’s parents, and gave the children her contact information so that they could contact her directly. The school officials involved in the club are further accused of encouraging children to “come out” as transgender by rewarding them with prizes—in the form of “LGBTQ paraphernalia such as toys, flags,” etc.—if they did.
The Lee family claims their daughter had not fully understood the concept of suicide and had not expressed any thoughts about transgenderism prior to attending the GSA club. Still, after her very first time attending a GSA meeting, their daughter announced that she wanted to transition her gender.
The Lee family disenrolled their daughter from WMS the day after the GSA club meeting, and subsequently enrolled her in a private school. The parents claimed the incident led their daughter into a months-long emotional decline of gender and sexuality confusion that required counseling and included suicidal thoughts. The Lee family claims that after pulling their daughter out of WMS, school staff members discussed seeking a child protective services well-child check for their daughter.
The lawsuit alleges PSD officials and employees violated parental rights under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit requests that a federal court compel the school district to provide parents with notice and an opt-out right when the topic of gender dysphoria is taught in schools, and to award punitive damages for violating parental rights. The parents are also seeking compensation for private school tuition, medical expenses, and counseling fees as a result of this episode.
In an response to an NTD News request for comment, a PSD spokesperson emailed a link to a webpage containing the school district’s policies on transgender and non-binary students. The policy document (pdf) states: “A student has the right to be addressed by the name and pronoun that corresponds to the student’s gender identity and gender expression. A court-ordered name or gender change is not required, and official records” and “staff should use the student’s affirming name whether the name has been legally changed or not, not unlike the common practice of using a nickname by which others refer to the student rather than their legal name.”
The PSD spokesperson said the school district is currently evaluating the lawsuit.
From NTD News