Parents Defending Education, a nonprofit that advocates for parental rights in education, received backing from 17 Republican attorneys general in its lawsuit against an Iowa school district's policy allowing students to hide their gender transitions from their parents.
The attorneys general filed an amicus brief Thursday in support of the lawsuit against the Linn-Mar Community School District over its "Transgender and Students Nonconforming to Gender Role Stereotypes" policy.
The brief obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation, led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, argued parents have a right to be involved in their child's care under federal law.
"Parents have a fundamental constitutional right to direct the upbringing and care of their children," Knudsen told the Daily Caller News Foundation. "School policies cannot intentionally leave parents in the dark about their child's mental and emotional well-being. The courts must step in to protect these kids and stop the violation of parental rights at the hands of woke school administrators."
In September, Judge C.J. Williams of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, where the lawsuit will be heard, denied the parent group's request for an injunction to the school district's policy.
In his opinion, Williams, appointed by former President Donald Trump, wrote, "Plaintiff has not shown irreparable harm will occur absent a preliminary injunction. Plaintiff has only provided evidence that harm is possible. Plaintiff has not, however, shown that there has been or will be impending, certain harm under the policy."
The district's policy stated it "shall not disclose information that may reveal a student's transgender status to others including but not limited to other students, parents and school staff unless legally required to do so (such as national standardized testing, drivers permits, transcripts, etc.), or unless the student has authorized such disclosure."
The policy also allows students to choose which restrooms, locker rooms or changing facilities match their gender identity, and any student in seventh grade or older will have priority of their support plan over their parent/guardian.
The attorneys general argued that by leaving the decision of when to involve parents up to the student, the policy erodes the relationship between the student and parent. The brief said parents should have access to information about their child's gender status under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
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