Court Rules Against School District That Allowed Students To Change Pronouns Without Parental Consent

(Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Kate Anderson Contributor
Font Size:

The Waukesha County Circuit Court ruled Tuesday that Kettle Moraine School District (KMSD) could not “supplant” parental rights by allowing students to change their names and pronouns without their parent’s knowledge.

A group of parents filed a lawsuit with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty in November 2021, claiming that the school district had begun “socially transitioning” a 12-year-old against the wishes of her parents. Instead, KMSD continued to refer to the child by a different name and pronouns, which the court determined to be a violation of “well-established case law,” according to the opinion. (RELATED: Court Unanimously Rules To Halt District Policy That Forces Students To ‘Respect’ Gender Identity)

“This Court has before it what modern society deems a controversial issue – transgenderism involving minors within our schools,” the ruling reads. “However, this particular case is not about that broad controversial issue. This particular case is simply whether a school district can supplant a parent’s right to control the healthcare and medical decisions for their children. The well-established case law in that regard is clear – Kettle Moraine can not.”

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: L.G.B.T. activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in New York City. The group gathered to speak out against the Trump administration's stance toward transgender people. Last week, The New York Times reported on an unreleased administration memo that proposes a strict biological definition of gender based on a person's genitalia at birth. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

L.G.B.T. activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Judge Michael P. Maxwell wrote that the issue at hand was about a parent’s right to control the decisions made about their child’s health care and medical care, according to the ruling. He explained that the parents had “rightly pointed out” that they should have the final say over whether their child is subjected to a “significant and controversial health-related decision.”

Maxwell also dismissed KMSD’s argument that the parents were trying to control all aspects of their child’s education, noting that the district effectively ignores the plaintiffs’ actual argument about parental sovereignty when making health-related decisions for their child, according to the ruling. He wrote that children are unable to make these kinds of decisions on their own because they lack “sound” judgment as adolescents.

Kate Anderson, senior counsel and director of the ADF Center for Parental Rights, applauded the court’s decision to “respect the serious concerns of these parents,” according to a press release.

“Parents’ rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children is one of the most basic constitutional rights every parent holds dear,” Anderson said. “Yet we are seeing more and more school districts across the country not only ignoring parents’ concerns but actively working against them. The court was right to respect the serious concerns of these parents by holding that Kettle Moraine School District’s policy, which undermines parents and harms children, violates the Wisconsin Constitution.”

KMSD did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact