Skip to main content

Regino v. Staley

Description:  School officials with the Chico Unified School District began addressing and treating an 11-year-old girl as a boy without telling her mother. The mother sued, challenging the school district for hiding her daughter's mental health condition and violating her rights as a parent.

A mother waiting by a school bus
Tuesday, Nov 7, 2023

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kate Anderson, director of the ADF Center for Parental Rights, regarding a friend-of-the-court brief ADF attorneys filed Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on behalf of The Justice Foundation in Regino v. Staley supporting the right of parents to make decisions about how their children are raised:

“Parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing, care, and education of their children. Chico Unified School District administrators violated this right when they began to treat an 11-year-old girl as a boy, directing employees to use a different name and male pronouns—without even telling her mother, Aurora Regino. When schools keep important information secret, parents like Ms. Regino can’t decide what’s best for their children, including how best to address their mental health needs. The decision to intervene in a child’s mental healthcare should never be made behind her parents’ backs. In Ms. Regino’s case, the lower court failed to recognize this nation’s long history and tradition supporting parents’ right to make decisions about—and thus to be informed about—their children’s mental health and education. The state should not be allowed to keep parents in the dark about their children’s wellbeing. We urge the 9th Circuit to reverse the lower court’s decision for its failure to respect parents’ constitutionally protected freedom to make the best decisions for their own kids.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

# # #

Legal Documents

Related Resources

ABOUT Kate Anderson

Kate Anderson serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is the director of the Center for Parental Rights. In this role, she leads the team working to ensure schools respect the role of parents in directing the upbringing, education, and health care of their children. In 2023, Anderson, together with allied attorneys, successfully defended parents in Wisconsin, and her team is actively engaged in many other states and courts protecting the fundamental rights of parents. Anderson's work at ADF began in 2015, focusing on protecting the conscience rights of individuals being unjustly compelled to forfeit their beliefs under threat of government retaliation, heavy fines, or other punishment. Prior to joining ADF, Anderson was an associate attorney with Ellis, Li & McKinstry, PLLC, in Seattle, where she litigated both civil and criminal cases. She obtained her law degree magna cum laude in 2009 from Gonzaga University School of Law, where she served on the Gonzaga Law Review . She is admitted to the state bars of Arizona and Washington, the U.S. Supreme Court, and several federal district and appellate courts.