Ludlow Public Schools, a district in Massachusetts, secretly promoted the gender transitions of a pair of siblings without the consent of their parents, a lawsuit filed against the district claims.
Stephen Foote and Marissa Silvestri Ludlow said Ludlow Public Schools, a district in Massachusetts, “impermissibly inserted themselves into the private realm” of their family. The lawsuit, which was filed by the parents of the targeted children, accuses the district of superseding their “rights to make decisions regarding their children’s upbringing, mental health, and well being.”
They had asked Paul L. Baird Middle School staff not to privately discuss gender-related issues with their children, a pair of siblings. According to court papers, Ludlow Public Schools did not abide by this request. Outraged parents allege that the district superintendent, a school guidance counselor and teachers discarded their wishes and referred to their biological daughter and son by other pronouns.
The lawsuit was filed in Massachusetts federal court on April 12, according to the New York Post.
The children are identified in the court filing as B.F. and G.F., respectively. B.F., who is 11, wrote in a February 28, 2021, email to school staff listing the pronouns they preferred, according to the legal filing.
“I am genderqueer. … My new name will be R**** … If you deadname me or use any pronouns I am uncomfortable with I will politely tell you … A list of pronouns you can use are: she/her he/him they/them fae/faerae/aer ve/ver xe/xem ze/zir. … Please only use the ones I have listed and not the other ones. I do not like them,” B.F. wrote, the parents said in court papers.
Marie-Claire Foley, B.F’s guidance counselor, informed staff that the child had not gained consent from his parents and instructed them on how to proceed. “R**** [B****] is still in the process of telling his parents and is requesting that school staff refer to him as B**** and use she/her pronouns with her parents and in written emails/letters home,” the parents claim.
After B.F.’s teacher forwarded the chain to her parents, principal Stacy Monette placed the educator on leave. Additionally, the principal cut short a meeting with B.F.’s parents at which they hoped to raise their concerns, according to court papers.
The email chain between school staff and the children shows the school is “hiding it from parents intentionally,” said Andrew Beckwith, an attorney who is representing the parents.
The school system claims to be adhering to the state’s gender guidance, but Beckwith says it has gone beyond that, pointing to a provision giving parents sole authority over gender disclosure for students 13 or younger.
“The term groomer is being used a lot today,” Beckwith told the New York Post. “Imagine what goes through any parent’s mind when you have some other adult talking to your kid about sexuality — and saying we’re going to hide this conversation from your parents.”