Foote v. Ludlow

Parental rights are fundamental. And because of this, public schools cannot lie to parents and tell 11- and 12-year-old children to also lie to their parents.

That is what our friend of the court brief to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Foote, et al. v. Ludlow School Committee, et al. is all about.

The background in this case is that four parents are suing the middle school in Ludlow, Massachusetts after finding out that the public school was encouraging their then 11- and 12-year-old children to lie to them, deceive them about their gender identity, and change their names and genders only when in public school. Even after the parents found out and asked the school not to do this because the parents already had counselors and therapists supporting their children, the public-school officials thought they knew what was best for the children and continued their deceptive course of action.

Our brief is in support of the parents and their lawsuit. We made it clear to the First Circuit that this is not really a case about the gender identity of 11- and 12-year-olds; this case is about whether a public school can tell 11- and 12- year-olds to keep secrets from their parents about something as basic as their name or gender identity. This case is about whether parents have the most basic right imaginable: the right to know what is going on with their children when those children are in public school.

Our brief did two things: we went back to the beginning and explained to the First Circuit the history of parental rights, showing that this “inalienable right” predates our Constitution and even government itself. Then we went through almost 100 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent, concluding that “parental rights are fundamental.”

Then we used the First Circuit’s own precedent in parental rights cases to show how the parents should easily win this lawsuit.

We wrote this brief to help not just the First Circuit, but more importantly to help moms, dads, grandparents, and policymakers around the nation see that parental rights are truly the foundation of our communities, our public schools, and our nation.


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