LTP News Sharing:
United States District Judge for the Southern District of California Hon. Roger T. Benitez has granted a preliminary injunction against the Escondido Union School District (EUSD) in a case involving a requirement that teachers mislead parents as to their own children’s “gender identity.”
The entire decision can be viewed here.
The background statement of this decision begins:
If a school student suffers a life-threatening concussion while playing soccer during a class on physical fitness, and the child expresses his feelings that he does not want his parents to find out, would it be lawful for the school to require its instructor to hide the event from the parents? Of course not. What if the child at school suffers a sexual assault, or expresses suicidal thoughts, or expresses aggressive and threatening thoughts or behavior? Would it be acceptable not to inform the parents? No. These would be serious medical conditions to which parents have a legal and federal constitutional right to be informed of and to direct decisions on medical treatment. A parent’s right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, control, and medical care of their children is one of the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests that Americans enjoy. However, if a school student expresses words or actions during class that may be the first visible sign that the child is dealing with gender incongruity or possibly gender dysphoria, conditions that may (or may not) progress into significant, adverse, life-long social-emotional health consequences, would it be lawful for the school to require teachers to hide the event from the parents?
In this case, it’s clear that consistency and predicates in other cases are being considered in the overall picture of parental rights. As the statement notes, the EUSD’s transgender pronoun policy would somehow place gender confusion in a different category than a sports injury or other mental issues.
The conclusion notes:
Parental involvement in essential to the healthy maturation of schoolchildren. The Escondido Union School District has adopted a policy without parent input that places a communication barrier between parents and teachers. Some parents who do not want such barriers may have the wherewithal to place their children in private schools or homeschool, or to move to a different public school district. Families in middle or lower socio-economic circumstances have no such options.
The District, by this estimation, sought to raise barriers between children and parents, in effect putting teachers in loco parentis with no due process; it also denied the teachers their sincerely held religious convictions as to the nature of the proper relationship between parent and child. This is a victory for not only freedom of conscience on the part of the teachers but also a victory for the rights of parents to direct health decisions for their children.