The Spreckels Union School District in Monterey County, California, settled a lawsuit by agreeing to pay $100,000 for "convincing" an eleven-year-old student to identify as bisexual and later as transgender without informing her parents. The girl began to use male pronouns as well as the teachers' unisex bathroom. The school advised her not to say anything to her mother and also changed her name on school records without parental consent.
Parents have a fundamental, constitutionally protected right to direct the upbringing of their children. This includes the right to be involved in crucial decisions in their children's lives. pic.twitter.com/6Q68e7ByRF
— Center for American Liberty (@Liberty_Ctr) August 29, 2023
Violating parents' rights to raise their children
According to the Los Angeles Times, the settlement approved by a judge states that the mother, Jessica Konen, and the daughter, who answers to the initials of A.G., will receive $48,000 each, while the remaining $4,000 will go to the California Department of Health Services for medical expenses incurred by the plaintiffs.
The lawsuit, based on the alleged violation of parents' right to raise their children under the 14th Amendment, alleges that A.G. suffered "profound mental stress" due to the actions of school staff. In addition, faculty and staff addressed the student with a new name and new pronouns, although, when they communicated with Konen, they spoke of her again as a girl. In addition, both teachers and administrators "instructed A.G. not to tell her mother about her new gender identity," according to the lawsuit.
A win that "sends a clear message" to California
The school isn't the only plaintiff. The lawsuit also names two teachers as plaintiffs, Lori Caldeira and Kelly Baraki — who ran the school's gay-straight alliance club UBU — as well as then-principal Katelyn Pagaran, who supported her teachers. According to the lawsuit, Caldeira encouraged A.G. to go to UBU, where both convinced her that "he (she) was bisexual." The lawsuit stresses that this idea "did not originate with A.G." and they kept encouraging her to the point that she started to believe she was transgender. Baraki and Caldeira resigned shortly after the district placed them on administrative leave in November. Pagaran resigned at the end of June.
The family's lawyer, Harmeet Dhillon, said in a statement on X (Twitter) that "This win sends a clear message that parental rights must be respected. Jessica and Alicia’s courage continued to inspire countless other parents to stand against the violation of their rights."