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Wisconsin families ask appeals court to protect parental rights in education

Attorneys with WILL, ADF represent families in lawsuit challenging Madison Metropolitan School District policy that excludes parents

Monday, Jan 23, 2023

MADISON, Wis. – Attorneys with Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and Alliance Defending Freedom representing parents challenging a Madison Metropolitan School District policy filed their opening brief with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals Monday. The families are appealing their case after a lower court dismissed their lawsuit.

Lead counsel from WILL, together with ADF attorneys, argue in the suit, Doe v. Madison Metropolitan School District, that the policy violates constitutionally protected parental rights. The policy instructs district employees to assist children of any age to adopt identities at odds with their biological sex, without notice to or consent from parents, and to conceal from parents the fact that school personnel are doing this unless a child “consents” to someone informing the parents.

“Parents know and love their children better than anyone else,” said WILL Deputy Counsel Luke Berg. “Both the Wisconsin and U.S. Constitutions protect their right to decide what is best for their children.”

“Parents—not school boards—have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing, care, and education of children,” said ADF Senior Counsel Roger Brooks. “It is essential that school officials not hide information from parents if their child struggles with any type of mental or physical condition at school so they can make the best, informed decisions to protect the child’s health and wellbeing. We’re asking the Wisconsin Court of Appeals to protect a parent’s right to parent.”

The appeal explains that the parents’ lawsuit is “the only way to prevent lifelong harm to minors and preserve parents’ constitutional rights, because parents cannot be expected to know either the future or what the District is hiding from them.” The brief continues, “No professional organization recommends that untrained school officials secretly facilitate gender transitions without involving parents and experts.”

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.

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