The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Doe v. Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Tuesday. This is a critical parental rights case in which parents are rightfully challenging an absurd school policy that allows the school to majorly overstep its boundaries.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) brought the case to the Dane County Circuit Court in 2020 after MMSD implemented policies allowing students to use a different gender identity at school by changing their name and pronouns without consent from their parents. The district even instructed employees to hide the information from parents.
WILL argues that it is the right of parents to make healthcare decisions for their children, and gender confusion can significantly impact a child’s mental health. “Transitioning to a different gender identity is a significant psychotherapeutic intervention that requires parental notice or consent,” said WILL. MMSD is clearly violating parental rights by attempting to make this decision for them.
Dane County Circuit Court Judge Frank Remington issued a partial injunction in 2020 that prevents the school district from “applying or enforcing any policy, guideline, or practice” that “allows or requires District staff to conceal information or to answer untruthfully in response to any question that parents ask about their child at school, including information about the name and pronouns being used to address their child at school.”
This injunction is not enough, however. It still permits minors to “transition” at school without requiring schools to notify parents or ask for their consent. The parents challenging this rule also requested to remain anonymous, but Judge Remington partially denied this request.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court is now deliberating on the case and will determine whether the parents can proceed anonymously and whether the partial injunction goes far enough.
During oral arguments this past Tuesday (May 24), one of the attorneys for the school district struggled to admit parents have inherent rights regarding their children, saying that parents basically don’t have rights when it comes to the issue of their child’s gender identity at school.
When discussing the need for anonymity for the parents, WILL attorney Luke Berg asserted that disclosing the names could result in bullying and even harm to the parents and their children. Attorneys for the district refuted that idea and asked that the names be released to all the attorneys and everyone in their 3 large law firms, contending that these individuals (amounting at least 1000 attorneys alone) would not leak the names. Justice Rebecca G. Bradley spoke up and said essentially that she disputed the district’s assertion, noting that one of the groups that had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case in support of the parents had their office firebombed after the leaked US Supreme Court draft opinion. Obviously, Justice Bradley was referring to us. (I was in the court room for the oral arguments.)
This case has huge ramifications not just here in Wisconsin but nationwide since it’s the first case in the country dealing with this issue. It could either help enshrine parental rights or severely compromise them.
For the sake of children’s well-being, parents need to be their primary decision makers, especially when it comes to questions of healthcare. Reaffirming a child’s delusion can pose significant negative consequences to their psychological development. They need the protection of their parents.
Chief Justice Annette Ziegler indicated the court would issue a decision promptly, which means we should certainly have the court’s final decision no later than June or July. In the meantime, please pray that the court rules justly and upholds parental rights.
Schools across the country seem to be hyper-focused on race and sexuality. Most recently, a Rhode Island private school told its students not to send Valentine’s Day cards that showed only white people or perpetuated gender “stereotypes.”
Parents received guidelines from Moses Brown Lower School stating, “Please coach your child if purchasing commercially produced cards to select something that does not feel ‘gender normative’ (with separate ‘boy cards’ vs. ‘girl cards,’ for instance.) Also, consider talking to your child about avoiding cards that portray only White human characters.”
Parents have understandably expressed their frustration with these guidelines and with the school’s culture as a whole. “Why does my four year old tell me the teacher said that someday she might want to marry another girl?” said one parent. Moses Brown often promotes progressive ideology about transgenderism and sexual identity. The school even hosts a Gender Sexuality Alliance club.
Stories like this one are becoming extremely common around the country, and even in Wisconsin. Children are inundated with harmful lies about race and gender. They are taught to view one another based on these immutable characteristics, rather than as individual children lovingly created by God. Many public schools, and sadly even some private schools, cannot be trusted to educate our children and act in their best interest.
This is why Wisconsin Family Action is working to pass vital legislation and combat the evil ideas that children are learning in school.
We are actively working to support the “Help Not Harm Act,” which is essential for children who are suffering from gender dysphoria in Wisconsin. The bill protects children who are confused about their biological sex by protecting them from harmful drugs and mutilation surgeries, which the left affirm are part of “tolerance.” This couldn’t be further from the truth.
What these children need is the exact opposite of what their schools are teaching them. They need the truth about God’s design, not affirmation of the lies they believe about themselves.
Schools here in Wisconsin are not only feeding children harmful lies about their sexuality, but are even hiding information from parents.
The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) published a policy stating that children are allowed to “transition” to a different gender at school and teachers are prohibited from telling parents. It even indicates that school staff should lie to parents about how their children are presenting in school.
Similarly, Kettle Moraine School District’s gender identity policy allows children to “change” their gender identity at school without parental consent. Again, employees are prohibited from sharing this important information with parents and even instructed to override parents’ objections.
Thankfully, our good friends at Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty and the Alliance Defending Freedom filed lawsuits challenging both of these policies, and they are now before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Just this week, we testified in support of the newly introduced “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” Assembly Bill 963, a bill that lays out 15 specific parents’ rights when it comes to their children. Several of these rights are specific to education and schools. One says parents have “[t]he right to determine the names and pronouns used for the child while at school.” A number of parents spoke at the hearing as well, supporting the bill and noting that too often their voice and their rights are either ignored or infringed.
Please pray for the success of the “Help Not Harm Act,” the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” and favorable outcomes in these two Supreme Court cases.
Parental rights and the well-being of our children are under attack. We must be diligent in overseeing our children’s education and demand and be part of necessary change when our schools espouse dangerous ideas. Few things are more important than the education of the next generation, and it’s up to us to hold our school officials accountable.
Of course, the very best situation for children is to be brought up in the homes of their married biological or adopted fathers and mothers. Marriage is good for kids! So, as we near the end of National Marriage Week, it’s important we promote marriage and family as God designed it, as well asGod’s design for human sexuality and raise our children to believe and know that they were created in His image.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit last June challenging the legality of absentee ballot drop boxes after the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) encouraged the use of absentee ballot drop boxes and told voters that anyone could return their ballot for them. Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren recently determined that absentee ballot drop boxes and ballot harvesting are illegal in Wisconsin. He also ruled that the WEC’s guidance in 2020 on absentee ballot drop boxes should have gone through the rules process.
“There are just two legal methods to cast an absentee ballot in Wisconsin: through the mail or in-person at a clerk’s office. And voters must return their own ballots. We are pleased the court made this clear, providing Wisconsin voters with certainty for forthcoming elections,” said WILL Deputy Counsel Luke Berg.
Unfortunately, earlier this week a state appeals court overruled Judge Bohren and ordered that absentee voter ballot boxes be available for this spring’s primary election on Tuesday, February 15. The three-judge appeals court panel said to change the law at this point would disrupt an election already in process. WILL has not yet indicated whether they will petition the Wisconsin Supreme Court as the next step, but we anticipate that they will.
The Bohren ruling on absentee ballots would help clarify election integrity issues as we head into a year filled with critical elections. Spring nonpartisan elections will occur in April, with the primary on February 15, and fall partisan elections will occur in November, with that primary on Tuesday, August 9. In the fall, our Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, one U.S. Senate seat, all 8 Congressional seats, all 99 of our State Assembly seats, and half of our state Senate seats (odd-numbered districts) are on the ballot.
Judge Bohren’s ruling is a step in the right direction as we work to combat election fraud and restore public trust in our electoral procedures. It’s unfortunate that the appeals court overruled him. As the last few elections have proven, many Americans have little faith in the integrity of our elections. To make matters worse, Democrats in Washington have been working to remove common-sense election laws. Their efforts pose a threat to our nation as a whole, as our democracy and freedom are dependent on fair and just elections.
Americans must also be confident that their voice matters in order to appropriately engage in our Republic. This is why the state should do everything in its power to instill confidence within voters that every fraudulently cast vote does not count and that every legally cast vote does
Clearing up the issues of absentee ballot drop boxes and ballot harvesting in Wisconsin is extremely important, especially since the current governor has vetoed every election reform bill the Republican-controlled state legislature has put on his desk.
The surest way for liberal progressives to take over is for conservatives to get so discouraged by the possibility of election fraud that they don’t vote. We cannot hand our state or our country over to the left without a fight. Transparent, secure, and reliable elections are a vital part of our representative Republic. In order to safeguard our government of the people, by the people, and for the people, we must demand election integrity and ensure that election laws are clear and just.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to hear a case involving parental rights and challenging the gender identity policy in Madison schools. Our good friends at Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) and our excellent national partner Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of parents challenging the Madison Metropolitan School District’s (MMSD) published policy that basically says parents aren’t to know what their child is doing at school when it comes to gender identity. The policy goes so far as to indicate school personnel should lie to parents if necessary. This is simply outrageous.
The state’s high court will review the partial injunction the circuit court put on the implementation of the policy and will determine the degree to which the parents can remain anonymous. As you can imagine, anonymity is critical in a case of this nature.
Meanwhile, WILL and ADF also has sued the Kettle Moraine School District (KMSD) for a very similar reason. KMSD’s gender identity policy allows children to “change” their gender identity at school without parental consent. The policy also prohibits district employees from notifying parents of their child’s transition and even instructs staff to override a parent’s objection. In this case, at least one parent called and asked the school to call a daughter by her given feminine name and to use only feminine pronouns. The school refused. Amazing. By the way, this case started with this parent calling us and asking what she could do. We immediately put her in touch with WILL.
In the Madison School District case, a Dane County Circuit Court Judge issued a partial injunction that prohibits the district from requiring staff to hide information from parents or answer untruthfully to their questions. However, the injunction still allows minors to change their gender identity at school without parental consent. Now, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will soon hear this case and determine whether the judge’s injunction goes far enough and to what degree the parents bringing the lawsuit can remain anonymous.
Both MMSD and KMSD (and we are sure many, many other WI school districts) are encouraging educators—who know their students much less than those students’ parents do—
to push children to make a life-altering decision without the input of those who care for them most. The district is even disregarding medical professionals who warn of the long-term effects associated with transitioning at a young age. It’s clear that the district is prioritizing ideology over parental rights and children’s well-being.
“Parents’ rights to direct the upbringing, education, and mental health treatment of their children is one of the most basic constitutional rights every parent holds dear. Yet we are seeing more and more school districts across the country not only ignoring parents’ concerns, but actively working against them,” said director of the ADF Center for Parental Rights Kate Anderson.
She is absolutely right. The Constitution protects parents’ rights, especially with something as serious as a child’s gender identity, and we must demand that schools respect that right.
Parents are not only the primary stakeholders in their children’s education, they must be the primary decision makers for their children. Not only is it their right, but only they know what is best for their children. Schools across the country, however, are intent on sidestepping parents and “raising” children themselves. This means students are being indoctrinated with dangerous progressive ideology and encouraged to act in accordance with it.
We cannot afford to let our school districts get away with these harmful policies and power grabs. The development and well-being of our children is at stake. As we now know, administrators are willing to partake in deception and manipulation to control our children.
What Parents Should Do (and all concerned citizens!)
- Have age-appropriate conversations with their children about the boundaries their school educators and administrators should abide by and encourage them to speak up in the face of indoctrination. Be a safe place for their children; encourage them to talk to the parents about what is happening at school.
- Engage in the upcoming spring elections. Every school district in the state will have races on the ballot. Sample ballots and other election information should be available in the next week at wi.gov. At a minimum, find out who the conservative candidates are and be sure to vote for them—and encourage others to do the same.
- Explore Wisconsin’s multiple educational options for parents. https://dpi.wi.gov/families-students/programs-initiatives/school-choice. Application window opens in February for several of these options.
- Please pray that these cases (MMSD & KMSD) are decided justly, and that further legislation is introduced to protect parental rights.
Together, we can save our children. Thank you for partnering with us in this worthy endeavor!