Education

Parent Group Sues Iowa School District Over Gender Ideology Requirements

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Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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A concerned parents organization sued an Iowa school district for a policy that allegedly hides students’ “gender support plans” from parents, according to litigation filed in the District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.

Parents Defending Education sued Linn-Mar Community School District on Tuesday for its policy on “Transgender and Students Nonconforming to Gender Role Stereotypes.” According to the policy, students can craft their own “gender support plans” at all ages. By seventh grade, “parents cannot be informed about the existence of the school-created plan without the student’s consent.”

The lawsuit alleges that Linn-Mar’s policies allow “children to make fundamentally important decisions about their gender identity without any parental involvement and to then hide these decisions from parents.”

Linn-Mar’s policy for transgender students claims that “communication with the student and/or parent/guardian is key” when discussing gender issues, though it allows any student above the age of 12 to have “priority of their support plan over their parent/guardian.”

“All persons, including students, have a right to privacy which includes the right to keep one’s transgender status private at school,” the policy reads.

Under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents are entitled to their child’s permanent files. Linn-Mar’s policies allegedly put a student’s gender identity and gender support plan in a “temporary file” that is only accessible to the student.

The district’s “anti-bullying/harassment policy” could lead to educators being fired and students suspended or expelled if they fail to “respect a student’s gender identity.” (RELATED: Fairfax County Public Schools May Suspend Students Who ‘Misgender’ Peers, Engage In ‘Hate Speech’)

“If, after an investigation, a student is found to be in violation of policy, the student shall be disciplined by appropriate measures, which may include suspension and expulsion. If after an investigation a school employee is found to be in violation of policy, the employee shall be disciplined by appropriate measures, which may include termination,” the policy reads.

Nicole Neily, the president and founder of Parents Defending Education, told the Daily Caller that the school district is “attempting to sabotage” the relationship between parents and children with such policies.

“Under the guise of ‘safety,’ Linn-Mar administrators are attempting to sabotage the relationship between parents and children through their parental exclusion policy, encouraging students to keep secrets from the very people who are charged with protecting them and defending their interests,” Neily said.

“As parents, we know that our children do best in life when we are involved and present, so it’s not surprising that parents across the country are angered by schools’ efforts to keep us at arms’ length. If this policy can be passed in Iowa against the wishes of the community, it can happen anywhere,” she continued.

The Daily Caller reached out to Linn-Mar Community School District for comment.