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Parents Defending Education filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Linn-Mar Community School District on Aug. 2. Defendants also include the superintendent and members of the Linn-Mar School Board.

The lawsuit is a result of Linn-Mar’s policy of allowing students to create “gender support plans” without parental knowledge or consent.

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The lawsuit says Linn-Mar is “flouting” constitutional guarantees that parents have a constitutional liberty interest in the care, custody and control of their children and that students do not abandon their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gate.

The policy allows school officials to work with students as young as seventh grade to create such plans for gender transition without parental involvement. It also forces peers to acknowledge preferred gender identities of classmates.

Per the lawsuit, the district can:

*require all employees and students to address the child by a new name;
*require all employees and students to address the child by a new pronoun;
*have the child’s name changed on numerous government documents, including identification cards, yearbooks and diplomas;
*allow the child to use the restrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities that correspond with the child’s gender identity;
*allow the child to participate in PE classes, intramural sports, clubs and other events that correspond with the child’s gender identity;
*allow the child to room with other students who share the child’s gender identity.

“These actions can happen without any knowledge or input from the child’s parents,” the lawsuit states. “Instead, these decisions will be made solely by the child and ‘school administrators and/or school counselors.'”

The lawsuit states the district will withhold the information even if it is specifically requested by parents.

“Parents are completely and purposefully left in the dark,” the lawsuit states. “The policy plainly violates parents’ rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.”

In addition, Linn-Mar disregards students’ First Amendment rights as it punishes students who express their sincerely held beliefs about biological sex and compels them to affirm the beliefs of administration and their fellow students.

“A child’s gender identity implicates the most fundamental issues concerning the child, including the child’s religion, medical care, mental health, sense of self and more,” the lawsuit states. “Yet despite ‘extensive precedent’ that parents must be involved in decisions concerning these types of issues, school districts across the country are increasingly excluding parents from decisionmaking when gender identity is involved.”

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