Last parent in lawsuit against Madison School District’s gender identity guidance drops out of the case

by | Jul 10, 2023 | 0 comments

The last parent remaining in a lawsuit against the Madison School District, “concerning the gender identity of students,” according to the Wisconsin State Journal, has dropped out of the case by deciding not to enroll her student in the district in the coming school year. Doing so makes it so she no longer has standing to challenge the Madison School District, as she is no longer connected to it. This is despite the fact that this parent, who was represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Law, and Liberty, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, appealed the decision last year that came from a Dane County Judge to dismiss the case.

The lawsuit was originally filed by 14 anonymous parents to challenge a Madison School District policy to allow students who identify as a different gender and use different names than those on their birth certificate to use different pronouns and names at school without requiring notification of the parents. This policy allows students to explore their identity without worrying about being outed, especially to parents who would not be supportive of said changes. Despite wanting the privacy of the students to be violated, this group of 14 fought and won the right to remain anonymous to the public as the lawsuit was heard by the courts.

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In November 2022, Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington, according to the Wisconsin State Journal, “ruled that the parent cannot sue the district because she had not identified any harm she’s suffered or was likely to suffer as a result of the policy.” In June, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declined to review the case when the plaintiffs tried to file a motion to bypass the Court of Appeals.

Jon Davidson, a senior staff attorney with the national ACLU, who, along with the ACLU of Wisconsin, represented school groups defending the policy bro bono, released a statement after the dismissal, saying “we know that trans and nonbinary students are safer when they are able to choose when, how, and who to come out to, and we know that students feel happier and are better able to learn at school when they are affirmed in their gender identity.”

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