WI Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Challenging School Gender Transition Policy

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that challenges a school district’s policy which allows administrators to withhold a child’s gender identity from their parents.

The case, Doe v. Madison Metropolitan School District, was brought forward by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) on behalf of multiple unnamed families who seek to change the district’s policy as outlined in a 2018 directive, “Guidance & Policies to Support Transgender, Non-binary & Gender Expansive Students,” which leaves it up to a student’s discretion if their parents will be informed of a gender transition.

The guidance also outlines the district’s intention to “model gender-inclusive language that affirms the gender diversity of our MMSD students, staff, and families and disrupts the gender binary” and that children “will be called by their affirmed name and pronouns regardless of parent/guardian permission to change their name and gender in MMSD systems.”

The Christian Post reports that the state’s high court agreed to grant a motion for review earlier this month in the suit, which was first filed in 2020. At that time, Dane County Court Judge Frank Remington issued a temporary injunction against parts of the district policy, but also noted that the plaintiffs failed to provide evidence of specific harm suffered by their families because they remained anonymous.

“By remaining anonymous and by asking this court to make evidentiary findings regarding irreparable harm or an adequate remedy unfairly deprives the Defendants a meaningful opportunity to challenge Plaintiffs’ factual assertions,” he wrote.

Attorneys for the Doe families celebrated the news that their case would now go before the state’s high court.

“We are pleased the Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear this important case,” Luke Berg, deputy counsel for WILL, said in a statement. “The Madison Metropolitan School District cannot make decisions reserved for parents.”

“School policies that exclude parents from children’s gender identity decisions are harming children across the country. We are hopeful that the Wisconsin Supreme Court will take the lead in protecting a parent’s right to be a parent,” ADF senior counsel Kate Anderson also said.

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