A Waukesha County Circuit Court has ruled in favor of Wisconsin parents, asserting that a Wisconsin school district violated parental rights by socially affirming their daughter as a transgender boy against their wishes. Represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, two sets of parents sued Kettle Moraine School District, accusing the district of adopting a policy that allowed a minor student to transition to a different gender identity at school without parental consent.
Circuit Court Judge Michael Maxwell granted the parents’ motion for summary judgment, ruling that the district had violated fundamental parental rights. He emphasized that the district could not supplant a parent’s right to control healthcare and medical decisions for their children. Maxwell issued an order preventing the district from referring to students using names or pronouns at odds with their biological sex without express parental consent.
The parents’ lawsuit alleged that Kettle Moraine School District pushed their 12-year-old daughter toward a significant life decision she was not prepared to make by socially affirming her claimed gender identity against her parents’ wishes. Another set of parents expressed concerns that the district would similarly push their children toward gender transition.
The 12-year-old girl began experiencing “rapid onset gender dysphoria,” anxiety, and depression in December 2020. Her parents temporarily withdrew her from school to seek mental health treatment, but the center allegedly affirmed her identity as a boy and encouraged her to transition. When she expressed a desire to use male pronouns and a male name at school, her parents asked the school to continue using her legal name and female pronouns. However, the district refused to honor their request, leading the parents to withdraw her from the district.
The ruling has been hailed as a “groundbreaking legal victory” for parental rights by legal teams representing the parents. It affirms that parents, not educators or school faculty, have the right to decide whether a social transition is in their child’s best interests, and it serves as a warning to other districts with similar policies that exclude parents from decisions about gender transitions at school. The case underscores the importance of respecting parents’ concerns and upholding their constitutional rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children.