Attorneys Sigal Chattah and Joey Gilbert have filed a lawsuit (see below) against Washoe County School District (WCSD) for violating parental constitutional rights. The District adopted Regulation 5161 which prohibits school staff from notifying parents of their child’s change in gender identity, sexual orientation, pronouns, and transgender status. Part of the complaint includes the District’s implementation of a controversial “Brave Space” program that allows students complete autonomy and isolation from their parents, instructing teachers and staff on “how to address these gender identity and gender non-conformity matters by bypassing parental notification and referral to third party (off school-site) organizations to seek help with non-conformity issues.”
Without any parental input, the District can (1) require all employees and students to address the child by a new name; (2) require all employees and students to address the child through a new pronoun; (3) have the child’s name changed on numerous government documents, including identification cards, yearbooks, and diplomas; (4) allow the child to use the restrooms, locker rooms, and changing facilities that correspond with the child’s gender identity; (5) allow the child to participate in physical education classes, intramural sports, clubs, and other events that correspond with the child’s gender identity; and (6) allow the child to room with other students who share the child’s gender identity.
The plaintiffs , Jane Doe and J. Doe–a minor attending Depaoli Middle School– contend:
The purpose of this Motion is made because Defendants continue to promote this Regulation, directly interfering with parental rights of custody and control of their children. This Regulation continues to violate the First, fourteenth and Ninth Amendments. Defendants have bypassed Plaintiffs’ due process rights and Plaintiffs are entitled to relief thereon.
This Regulation authorizes schools and children to make fundamentally important decisions concerning their gender identity without any parental involvement and to then hide these decisions from their parents. Per the Policy, Transgender and gender non-conformingstudents have a right to privacy, including keeping private their sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, or gender non-conforming presentation at school.
Transgender and gender non-conforming students have the right to discuss and express their gender identity and expression openly and to decide when, with whom, and how much to share their private information.
Citing a century of Supreme Court precedent, the plaintiffs notes that “parents have a constitutional liberty interest in the care, custody, and control of their children, and students do not abandon their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gate.”
Following a series of events in school with minor J. Doe at Depaoli Middle School, Jane Doe attended a Zoom Brave Space training program held for faculty and staff in order to investigate the program and “was appalled to see that the Brave Space Training actually includes training teachers to hide students’ “identities” from their own parents.” On Day 3 of the program, training was provided that clearly forbids staff to contact the parents or guardians of students.
The motion reads: “The District will withhold this information even if it is specifically requested by parents. Under the Regulation, the District will not tell parents whether their child is accommodated under the regulation, whether the child has made requests concerning their gender identity, or any other information that would reveal the child’s ‘transgender status.’ Parents are completely and purposely left in the dark as the Regulation plainly violates parents’ rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.”
The plaintiffs claim violations of the 1st amendment in that, “The Policy punishes students for expressing their sincerely held beliefs about biological sex and compels them to affirm the beliefs of administrators and their fellow students. Any individual’s failure to adhere to Reg 5161, submits them to punitive action under Washoe County School Board Policy 92004 entitled “Harassment and Discrimination Prohibited”.”
Attorney Sigal Chattah told The Globe: “Until Nevada’s government officials recognize the magnitude of obliterating parents’ rights to raise their children with their own values, parents will have no other recourse but to rely on the courts to ensure their and their children’s constitutional rights are protected”Motion for Preliminary Injunction
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