Michigan parents have filed a lawsuit against a public school district, alleging that district employees began socially transitioning their daughter in secret without their consent.
According to CBN News, parents Dan and Jennifer Mead have sued Michigan’s Rockford Public School District.
“While we were working with the school closely to address [our daughter’s] academic needs in regards to her autism, it came to our attention that the school was actively deceiving and hiding from us the fact that they were transitioning our daughter from being a girl to a boy, using a boy’s name and pronouns,” Dan Mead told the outlet in a recent interview.
The couple shared that they first became aware of alleged social transitional after they received paperwork in which they said a school employee had “inadvertently forgotten to change one of those male names and pronouns.”
While Jennifer thought it was a mistake, such as the name belonging to another child, she said that the school never responded to her email when asking about the situation.
“We started to kind of dig a little bit more and say, ‘Well, why would they not respond to an email over important information like this?” she said. “So, once we found out what was really happening, clearly I was just in shock [and] disbelief.”
Additionally, Dan and his wife discovered an “very explicit” book in her daughter’s bookbag that reportedly came from the school counselor. He noted that the school included a story about a “homosexual boy trying to kind of coerce the boy into a relationship with him.”
“We had a meeting with the school principal,” Dan explained. “He said to us, ‘Look, you have to understand this is the school policy. We’re mandated to do this. The desires of the children outweigh those of the parents, and there’s not a whole lot we can do in that regard.'”
Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kate Anderson, who is representing the Meads, shared that policies regarding districts not informing parents about changes in student pronouns have become “very pervasive” in several areas across the United States.
“You have situations where they’re actively hiding that information from parents like they were with the Meads,” Anderson said. “They were actually erasing the male name and male pronouns on documents and replacing it with their daughter’s real name and her female pronouns.”
She argued that this is a violation of the U.S. Constitution because parents “have the right to direct the upbringing and education of their kids.”
“A school should never hide information from parents,” she said.
Despite what the Meads' daughter went through, the couple shared that she is “no longer confused” and is feeling better after dealing with a period of anxiety and depression in light of what she was facing with the school.
“She is thriving, her grades are up, she is happy,” Jennifer said. “She’s like a different child now, and it’s wonderful that we’ve got her back.”
“How many other parents have done this before us?” Dan asked. [H]ow many are going to come after us? And if I ever had to look at another father or mother who went through this and say, ‘Oh yeah, that happened to us, too, but we didn’t do anything about it,’ I don’t know how I could handle that.”
Dan added that he and his wife want to “make this right” and prevent other parents and children from facing the same thing.
“You don’t get to lie to the parents about anything,” he said. “You don’t get to withhold information, change documents — none of that stuff.”
According to Anderson, the lawsuit was filed prior to Christmas and is still early on in the process. The Meads have asked the court to consider the incident as a violation of the family’s First and Fourteenth Amendment and are seeking damages regarding the cost of removing their daughter out of the school.
Image credit: ©Getty Images/TW Farlow
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.