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Supreme Court of the United States

Wisconsin Parents to School District: Stop Using Our Kids in Your Experiment

March 6, 2020

“How was your day at school?”

It’s a fairly common question for parents to ask their kids at the end of the school day, but for some Wisconsin parents, the answer to that question was disturbing.

Parents learned that their children—in a K-5 school, no less—were being exposed to gender identity ideology. As they began to dig deeper, they learned more horrifying information, resulting in a complaint filed by Alliance Defending Freedom and Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty.

Let’s take a look.


School District Policy: “Disrupt the Gender Binary”

Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) adopted a policy for all of its schools that promotes the ideology that everyone has a certain “gender identity”, which does not necessarily match their biological sex. According to the policy, a person’s gender identity can be “male, female, a blend of both or neither” and is determined entirely by “a person’s internal sense of self.” The school district is committed to “affirming” students who express confusion about their biological sex.

One stated goals of the school policy is to “disrupt the gender binary” in the minds of young children. Part of this “disruption” comes by encouraging kids with books and lessons—such as the highly controversial I Am Jazz book about a biological male living as a female—as well as “limiting gendered and binary language” and interrupting and correcting “misconceptions about gender or language that reinforce the gender binary.”

The MMSD policy also says teachers and other staff may not reveal a student’s gender identity to “parents or guardians … unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure.”


Parents Learn the Truth

Last May, students at Frank Allis Elementary School—a K-5 establishment—were subjected to a video where their science teacher explained that students should us the words “Mx. Steel” when addressing their teacher. Why? Because this particular individual struggles with his biological sex.

It’s a hot debate raging through legislatures, news networks, and social media, but most parents would expect their K-5 children are safe from being exposed to the concept of “gender identity.”

When learning what the teacher was showing to students at the school, a parent of one of the students wrote online:

I’ve had to sit down with my kids and explain that what they heard is flat-out wrong and incorrect. We will be kind to others, but we WILL NOT be involved in adult games of make-believe. Shame on those that support this!

Last month during “Black Lives Matter Week,” MMSD provided teachers of all grades with a coloring book that tells children: “Everyone has the right to choose their own gender by listening to their own heart and mind. Everyone gets to choose if they are a girl or a boy or both or neither or something else, and no one else gets to choose for them.”


Why this Policy Endangers Children

Dr. Stephen B. Levine, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, says in an expert affidavit filed on behalf of Wisconsin families:

[T]herapy for young children that encourages transition cannot be considered to be neutral, but instead is an experimental procedure that has a high likelihood of changing the life path of the child, with highly unpredictable effects on mental and physical health, suicidality, and life expectancy. Claims that a civil right is at stake do not change the fact that what is proposed is a social and medical experiment.

Sydney Wright, writes about her experience of when she was being subjected to “affirmation” from adults:

The injections of male hormones started to have their effect, but not in the way I expected. I started gaining more and more weight. My skin started to get more and more puffy and discolored. My blood started to thicken.

The doctor’s office was running bloodwork for me every three months, and it actually said I was now pre-diabetic—something that was totally new for me.

My gender-transition doctor said not to worry, but I decided to see another doctor for a second opinion. He said my thickening blood put me at risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Eventually, after a heart-to-heart conversation with her grandfather, Sydney decided to accept her biological sex—a decision she says might have saved her life.

Walt Heyer—who once presented as a woman and now regularly speaks and writes about the dangers of gender identity ideology—says that parents often find themselves with no help, saying parents tell him it’s “almost impossible” to find a therapist who doesn’t advocate for gender change. He warns:

Public schools and universities loom large as contributors to the boom in gender transition among youth. I routinely hear from parents whose children as college freshmen “come out” as transgender after a semester or two away at school, when previously they exhibited no signs of gender incongruity or distress.

I have a new warning for parents of trans kids, based on the past five years of experience. Be extremely aware and wary of school authority figures—teachers, counselors, social workers—and the internet. These often collaborate to misguide teens toward gender change.

In fact, Brown University’s Dr. Lisa Littman published a study that showed the rise of “Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria” among teens—particularly girls—who feel strong social influences to identify as the opposite sex.

Multiple studies have reported that among children who experience gender dysphoria or transgender identification but do not socially transition, 80 to 98 percent “desisted,” or became comfortable with their biological sex, by young adulthood. By contrast, recent data suggests that among boys “who engaged in a partial or complete social transition before puberty,” fewer than 20 percent had desisted when surveyed at age 15 or older.

Meanwhile, MMSD believes that children should be part of this grand experiment.


Parents are Fighting Back

Alliance Defending Freedom and Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) asked a state court to immediately halt the aspects of the MMSD policy requiring teachers to hide information from parents.

ADF Senior Counsel Roger Brooks explains the necessity of this intervention:

This is a life-altering decision that educators have no business making. As Dr. Levine explains based on decades of experience and extensive scientific literature, putting children on a pathway to puberty-blockers and cross-sex hormones can have devastating effects across a lifetime. That should serve as a wake-up call to parents and all Americans: When schools cast aside biological reality in favor of gender identity ideology, it’s children who are hurt the most.

Dr. Levine expands on the dangerous nature of the school district’s policy:

For a child to live radically different identities at home and at school, and to conceal what he or she perceives to be his or her true identity from parents, is psychologically unhealthy in itself, and could readily lead to additional psychological problems. Extended secrecy and a “double life” concealed from the parents is rarely the path to psychological health. For this reason at least, schools should not support deceit of parents… Most children are both legally and developmentally incapable of giving informed consent to such a life-altering intervention. And parents, of course, cannot give informed consent if the fact of their child’s wish to assume a transgender identity is concealed from them.

Parents know best how to meet the educational and emotional needs of their children. School district officials have no business stripping parents of their rights to raise children in their best interest.


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Alliance Defending Freedom

Alliance Defending Freedom

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Alliance Defending Freedom advocates for your right to freely live out your faith