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Teachers sue California school over policy forcing them to hide kids’ gender transitions from parents


Daily Caller News Foundation

Two California middle school teachers sued their school district on Thursday over a policy that requires them to hide students’ gender identities from their parents, the lawsuit reads.

Elizabeth Mirabelli and Lori Ann West, who teach at Rincon Middle School in Escondido, California, filed the lawsuit against Escondido Union School District (EUSD) and the California State Board of Education over a policy that requires teachers to use students preferred pronouns and names when not in front of parents, according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs argue that the policy, done to “hide information” about a child’s gender identity from parents, is unconstitutional and violates their First Amendment right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

The teachers are seeking a court order that rules the policies are unconstitutional and prohibits the district from enforcing them, the lawsuit reads. They also seek “nominal and actual damages,” as well as attorneys’ costs.

“The policies endanger the children in EUSD’s care through recklessly disregarding or ignoring the real harm that can occur through transitioning to another gender during childhood, while removing the key parental oversight that could protect the mental and physical well- being of EUSD’s students,” the lawsuit reads.

EUSD teachers cannot reveal “a student’s transgender status to individuals who do not have a legitimate need for the information, without the student’s consent,” according to the lawsuit. Teachers are instructed to tell questioning parents that conversations about a student’s gender identity is “outside of the scope of the intent of their interaction,” and are required to “use a student’s preferred name and pronoun based upon student request” regardless of the parents’ decision.

Marabelli and West requested a religious accommodation to inform parents if a child goes by a different name or pronouns at school, according to the lawsuit. The district reportedly granted an accommodation about how the teachers can address students during the day, but rejected the request to inform the parents.

EUSD officials cited the California Department of Education’s guidance on working with transgender students through Assembly Bill 1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act, that says “revealing a student’s gender identity or expression to others may compromise the student’s safety,” according to the department’s website. It states that revealing a students’ gender identity status could “violate California’s antidiscrimination law by increasing the student’s vulnerability to harassment and may violate the student’s right to privacy.”

However, the lawsuit argues that “the legal authority cited in the Department of Education’s FAQ page to support its conclusions do not support them,” and that “EUSD has failed to provide any legal authority supporting the conclusions of the FAQ page, and there is none.”

EUSD, CDOE, Mirabelli and West did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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