The Harrisonburg school board and its superintendent.
Bring a gun to a knife fight: Represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), both parents and teachers on June 1st filed a lawsuit against the Harrisonburg City Public School Board for encouraging children to use incorrect sexual pronouns as it also indoctrinated the kids into the queer sex agenda, all while setting policies intended to conceal its actions from parents.
Upon a child’s request, school district policy requires staff to immediately begin using opposite-sex pronouns and forbids staff from sharing information with parents about their child’s request, instead instructing staff to mislead and deceive parents.
The lawsuit [pdf] is even more blunt than the press release above:
Public schools should never hide information from or lie to parents about a child’s mental health. And schools should never compel teachers to perpetrate such a deception. Yet Harrisonburg City Public Schools (“HCPS”) has done just that — implementing a policy and practice (“Policy”) on the treatment of transgender students that forces teachers on pain of discipline to use any pronouns or names requested by a student, while actively hiding information about that request from the child’s parents.
HCPS adopted the Policy following the issuance by the Virginia Department of Education (“VDOE”) of a model policy on the treatment of transgender students and its mandate that all Virginia school divisions adopt similar policies for the 2021-2022 school year.
Following that announcement, HCPS added “gender identity” to its Division Nondiscrimination Policy and issued specific guidance to teachers and the public specifying the new requirements of the Policy-requirements that exceed anything mandated by VDOE. Those requirements violate teachers’ state-constitutional rights by compelling speech with which teachers strongly disagree-affirming HCPS’s message about sex and gender by using pronouns that do not correspond to a student’s biological sex-and simultaneously restricting their speech by forcing them to withhold medical information from parents.
The Policy also compels teachers to violate their religious convictions about gender and honesty. And it violates parents’ rights by interfering with their ability to direct the upbringing and education of their children contrary to state constitutional and statutory protections. [emphasis mine]
In a saner time — only a decade or so ago — the actions of the school board here would have instantly been seen as a conspiracy to introduce pedophilia within the schools. It was unheard of for teachers to discuss such sensitive sexual matters with kids, and if such a topic came up it was recognized that the school and teacher had to instantly inform the parent, not only to help the child properly but to protect the school and teacher from suspicion.
Now, in these insane times, it is considered a free speech right for adults to sexualize innocent children, in private, and to keep that behavior secret from parents, with the full support of the government. How is this not as bad as having a mad shooter in the class room killing kids? The children might not be dead, but the school board has successfully abused them and possibly warped them for life.
The suit itself pulls no punches. It is not only filed against the school board, it names the board’s members — chairman Nick Swayne, vice-chair Deb Fitzgerald, members Obie Hill, Andrew Kohen, Kristen Loflin, and Kaylene Seigle — as well as the district’s superintendent, Michael G. Richards. It claims these individuals have violated the free speech and religious rights of both the parents and teachers, under numerous Virginia laws as well as the state’s constitution. Based on the plain language of these numerous laws, there should be no doubt the parents and teachers should win.
More effective however would be to bring the school board and superintendent up on charges of child abuse. Only that action might finally get the attention of similar public school administrators elsewhere, and get them to stop this perverse behavior. One therefore wonders why the Virginia state government — including its new very conservative attorney general — is not becoming involved. There is clear evidence here of child abuse that should be investigated and prosecuted.
In the meantime, the contact information for this school board can be found here. It would be worthwhile for Harrisonburg residents to let these board members know what the public thinks of their policies.