WASHINGTON, D.C. – Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) this week filed an amicus brief in support of parental rights in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The case, Foote v. Ludlow, involves the question of whether parents may sue school administrators who secretly encourage, promote, or facilitate “gender transitions” behind the backs of parents and contrary to explicit parental instructions.

Four parents have sued the Ludlow, Massachusetts School Committee and several Ludlow school officials for secretly “transitioning” their minor children and ignoring repeated requests that they not have private conversations with their children regarding mental health issues. Ludlow schools allow students to choose their own pronouns and names, and school staff are prohibited from discussing a child’s “gender identity” with a parent without the child’s consent. 

Defendants argue, among other things, that they are shielded from this lawsuit by the doctrine of qualified immunity. 

IWLC’s brief explains the longstanding (and previously uncontroversial) principle that parents, not school administrators, get to make decisions regarding the upbringing and medical care of their children. IWLC argues that Defendants cannot have been reasonably ignorant of basic parental rights  — indeed, Plaintiffs themselves repeatedly told Defendants that they were acting unlawfully, and Defendants cannot, therefore, claim immunity.

Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center, said: “When schools act deliberately to drive a wedge between parents and their emotionally vulnerable children, parents should be able to seek redress in court.”

Ginny Gentles, director of the Education Freedom Center at Independent Women’s Forum said: “We are living in a new world in which teachers and school administrators intentionally cut loving parents out of critical decision-making regarding their own children, claiming that the ‘experts’ know best. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s time to end secretive and destructive ‘gender support plans’ and trust that parents have the best interests of their children at heart.” 

The brief can be found HERE.

Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and the continued legal relevance of biological sex.
Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.