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Parents sue Wisconsin school district over gender pronoun decision

By Gabriella Garza

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    WAUKESHA, Wisconsin (WISN) — A court fight is currently happening over a Waukesha County school district’s decision to allow students to change their name and preferred pronouns without parental consent.

The court battle stems from a 2021 incident when a student at Kettle Moraine Middle School wanted to transition from female to male and use new pronouns at school.

Their parents asked the school not to. Ultimately, the district decided to refer to the child by their chosen pronouns.

“When we look at the context of school that parents are not all-encompassing, parents don’t always have the right to make every decision about every aspect of what happens at school and that even extends to the issue of transgender students,” said Ron Stadler, an attorney representing Kettle Moraine School District.

Attorney Luke Berg, who representing the parents suing the school district, argues the school went against the parents’ wishes.

“This case is about who makes decisions for minor children. For centuries, everyone has understood that the answer is parents. That’s why a school sends home parental consent forms,” Berg said.

“I agree with both of you. There’s not a ton for the court to work on. This is a relatively new issue that schools are having to navigate,” Judge Michael P. Maxwell said.

The lawsuit filed alongside the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty or “WILL” argues that calling a child by their preferred pronouns and name is seen as socially transitioning.

Socially transition is just one part of the treatment for gender dysphoria. The parents say this is a medical decision for their children.

“These situations often have to be addressed on a case-by-case basis and so the plaintiff faults us for not having a policy in place, but they are nearly impossible situations to legislate with a policy,” Stadler said.

Maxwell will now weigh both sides and make a final ruling, the decision could come down within six months.

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