Case Name: B.F. v. Kettle Moraine School District
Type of Case: Parental rights
Court: Waukesha County Circuit Court
Filed On: November 17, 2021
Current Status: Filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court on November 17, 2021
WILL, ADF Sue Kettle Moraine School District for Violating Parents’ Rights
November 17, 2021 | Two sets of Wisconsin parents are suing the Kettle Moraine School District (KMSD) for a policy that facilitates and “affirms” a minor student’s gender transition at school, even over the parents’ objection.
WILL, ADF WARN KETTLE MORAINE SCHOOL DISTRICT GENDER IDENTITY POLICY VIOLATES PARENTAL RIGHTS
May 19, 2021 | Attorneys with The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) issued a Notice of Claim to the Kettle Moraine School District that a District policy allowing students to change their gender identity at school, without parental consent and even over the objections of parents, violates parents’ constitutional rights.
The Lawsuit: Two sets of Wisconsin parents are suing the Kettle Moraine School District (KMSD) for a policy that facilitates and “affirms” a minor student’s gender transition at school, even over the parents’ objection. The Kettle Moraine School District’s policy violates parents’ constitutional rights to raise their children by taking a major, controversial, and potentially life-altering decision out of parents’ hands. The lawsuit was filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
WILL and ADF filed a notice of claim with the Kettle Moraine School District in May 2021, warning their policy may result in a lawsuit.
Background: The Wisconsin (and United States) Constitution recognizes the “inherent right” of parents to “direct the upbringing and education of children under their control.” This means parents are the primary decision-makers with respect to their minor children. But the Kettle Moraine School District adopted a policy that disregards parents’ decision about how their children will be addressed at school.
Two Kettle Moraine School District parents recently encountered this policy and were forced to withdraw their daughter from the district because of it. Their daughter began to question her gender in December 2020, and, for a time, wanted to go by a male name and pronouns while at school. The family sought professional and medical support for her, and after extensive research, decided that immediately transitioning would not be in her best interest.
They communicated this directly to Kettle Moraine School District staff in January 2021, and asked staff to continuing referring to their daughter using her legal name and female pronouns. But the Kettle Moraine School District refused to honor their decision. The principal informed them that it was district policy that if their daughter returned to school, school staff would refer to her using whatever name and pronouns she wanted while at school, even over her parents’ objection.
A few weeks after they withdrew her from school, their daughter realized her parents were right and has re-embraced her birth name and her nature as a girl. She is now enrolled in a different school district.
What is at Issue? Many medical professionals believe that transitioning to a different gender identity at a young age can become self-reinforcing and even do long-term harm, and therefore recommend a cautious approach. This family simply wanted to follow that approach.
The Kettle Moraine School District’s policy disregards these medical professionals and instead takes this life-altering decision out of parents’ hands and places it with educators. By enabling minor students to transition at school over their parents’ objection, the district is effectively making a treatment decision without the legal authority to do so and without informed consent from the parents. This policy violates the constitutionally recognized rights of parents to raise their children.
President and General Counsel