The parents claim that a first-grade teacher educated students on gender dysphoria and other transgender-related issues without detailing the course in the class curriculum or giving families the chance to opt out.
A group of Pennsylvania parents have filed a lawsuit against the Mount Lebanon School District, alleging that a first-grade teacher violated district policy, state law, and their constitutional rights by teaching students about gender dysphoria.
According to FOX News, the lawsuit was filed by mothers Carmilla Tatel, Stacy Dunn, and Gretchen Melton. Collectively, they seek a court order preventing the district from providing gender-related instruction at Jefferson Elementary School in Pittsburgh—or, at least, an option for parents to opt their children out.
Along with the district, the complaint also names as defendants the district superintendent, the school board, several educators, Jefferson Elementary’s principal, and first-grade teacher Megan Williams.
While the lawsuit acknowledges the “unique perspectives and views” of Williams, who is the mother of a transgender child, it asserts that “does not give her the right to impose her views on a captive audience of six- and seven-year-old children.”
“Williams also began the process of interjecting her own personal life and views into the classroom, explaining that her child had worn an ‘Elsa dress’ for Halloween,” the lawsuit says, adding that the teacher “explained to her students that sometimes ‘parents and wrong’ and doctors ‘make mistakes’ when they bring a child home from the hospital.”
The parents say that Mount Lebanon School District violated its own policies by not mentioning discussion of gender dysphoria in its curriculum.
Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that parents were provided an option to withdraw their children from courses relating to other “sensitive” topics, including the Holocaust, slavery, and Black Lives Matter protests.
The plaintiffs note that they have “friends in the LGBT community,” and that any attempt to construe their lawsuit as political is misplaced.
“This lawsuit is not about politics. It is not anti-transgender. It is not about censorship. It is not about banning books. It is not about precluding appropriate DEI initiatives,” the lawsuit states. “Rather, it is about Plaintiffs’ parental rights and each of their respective decisions not to want their six- or seven-year-old child to receive first-grade classroom instruction on gender dysphoria or transgender transitioning from their first-grade teacher.”
Kristen James, a spokesperson for Mount Lebanon School District, said that the complaint contains “allegations that are untrue or based on partial truths that mischaracterize events for sensational effect” and that the district “looks forward to the opportunity to set the record straight.”
“Although we will not comment further on pending litigation, we refer the community to our Equity Statement: “The Mt. Lebanon School District is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming school environment that recognizes and celebrates the diverse identities of all members of our school community, including students, their families, faculty, and staff,” James told Newsweek.
“All students, regardless of background, identity, or ability will be supported to reach their full potential and pursue their unique talents,” James added. “The District will provide resources in a just and equitable manner and remove barriers to allow students to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.”
The Pennsylvania mothers are seeking a federal trial by jury to decide potential compensatory and punitive damages.