Saving a Daughter

2021 | Week of May 24 | Radio Transcript #1413

The following story isn’t about us. It’s really about how God used us to help parents and their daughter. A couple of weeks ago we got a call from a concerned mother with a young daughter in the Kettle Moraine school district. As the story unfolded, we learned the twelve-year-old daughter had been struggling with her gender identity. The parents called the school and instructed teachers and staff to call their daughter by her given name and to use feminine pronouns when referring to her. School district officials refused to do as the parents requested. The mother wanted to know what they could do in light of this school blatantly refusing to honor what they wanted relative to their daughter’s gender designation and identity.

We told the mother she needed to get legal help as soon as possible and recommended she call our friends at Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, commonly referred to as WILL. In fact, I recommended she directly talk to WILL Attorney Luke Berg who is the attorney of record on a lawsuit filed against the Madison Metropolitan School District, a lawsuit that involves a situation very similar to this one in Kettle Moraine.

These parents took our advice and called Attorney Berg. We are incredibly grateful this mom called us and that we knew what she needed to do and whom she needed to talk to. Concerned parents getting WILL involved very likely saved this young girl’s future from disastrous consequences.

Last week WILL attorney Luke Berg and Senior Counsel Roger Brooks with one of our frontline partners, Alliance Defending Freedom, on behalf of these parents and some others, issued a Notice of Claim to the Kettle Moraine School District.[1] The Claim puts the District on notice that its policy allowing students to change their gender identity at school, without parental consent and even over the objections of parents, violates parents’ constitutional rights.[2]

In this specific situation, as all this was transpiring with the school district, the parents also sought counseling for their daughter at a mental health center. The so-called counseling she received was all about affirming her thinking that she was a boy, not a girl, and urging her to transition. And, of course, the school district was all about affirmation as well.

Ultimately, the parents cut ties with the mental health center and removed their daughter from the school. Within weeks of leaving the mental health center and the school, the daughter’s demeanor began to change. She eventually admitted to her mother that the “affirmative care” at the center really “messed [her] up” by encouraging her to transition soon and asserting she was right to be angry with her mother for not immediately allowing her to transition, an approach that fueled her anger.[3]

The good news is the daughter has now of her own accord reverted to using her birth name and female pronouns. In a very real sense, this was a life saved from heartache, trauma and possibly irreversible physical surgeries or treatments.

The Notice of Claim asked the school district to do four things: change the District’s policy to require parental consent before a student may change their gender identity at school, and to commit to retraining its staff accordingly; acknowledge, in writing, that the District’s treatment of these parents violated their constitutional rights as parents; pay the nominal damages of $1 as a symbolic vindication of the constitutional violation; and finally in accordance with Wisconsin’s open records law produce any written record of the policy the district claims it was enforcing since no written policy has been presented or discovered.

So now we know for certain that the Madison and Kettle Moraine School Districts are complicit in violating parents’ rights on this important and very controversial issue of a child’s gender expression at school. What we don’t know is how many other districts are doing the same thing to parents and students.

Parents with children in Wisconsin’s public schools need to be aware of these situations and do due diligence at their own schools. If your child starts talking in ways that indicate he or she is questioning their biological sex, don’t take that lightly. Talk to them. Find out how they are presenting at school. Let the school know immediately what name and pronouns you want school officials to use for your child. If you don’t get immediate confirmation and compliance, contact us or contact Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty directly. You will need help; and excellent, skilled help is available. We are thrilled with the outcome of this situation and glad God used us to get these parents the help they needed to rescue their daughter.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”




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