Parents Protecting Our Children v. Eau Claire Area School District et al.

Case Name: Parents Protecting Our Children v. Eau Claire Area School District, et al.

Type of Case: Parental rights

Court: Waukesha County Circuit Court, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Filed On: September 7, 2022

Current Status: WILL has filed a Cert petition with SCOTUS following the Seventh Circuit’s decision that we lacked standing to bring the case.


September 7, 2022 | Attorneys with The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) and America First Legal (AFL) filed a federal lawsuit against the Eau Claire Area School District (ECASD), the superintendent, and the school board for adopting policies that facilitate gender transitions that might occur at school without any parental notification or consent. 

The Lawsuit: America First Legal and WILL represent Parents Protecting Our Children, a local group of Eau Claire parents who have children in the Eau Claire Area School District. The lawsuit claims Eau Claire’s policy violates fundamental constitutionally recognized parental rights, including the right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children. It also violates First Amendment guarantees to the free exercise of religion by concealing from parents their child’s struggle with gender identity issues and directly interfering with their right to teach and guide their children through gender identity issues in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Background: The Eau Claire Area School District has adopted and trained its staff on a gender identity policy that enables minor students to change their gender identity at school, by adopting a new name and pronouns, and using opposite-sex facilities without parental notice or consent. In its training on this policy, the facilitator’s notes emphasize that “parents are not entitled to know their kids’ identities,” but must “earn” that knowledge. And religious objections from parents are, according to the facilitator’s notes, “weaponization of religion against queer people.” One teacher, taking this policy to heart, posted a sign that said, “if your parents aren’t accepting of your identity, I’m your mom now.”

ECASD’s policy not only violates parents’ well-established constitutional rights, it also runs directly counter to the advice of numerous medical professionals who recommend that health professionals defer to parents on this, given the serious, long-term implications of gender identity transitions during childhood.



Rick Esenberg

Rick Esenberg

President and General Counsel

Luke Berg

Luke Berg

Deputy Counsel

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