Littlejohn v. School Board of Leon County, Florida, et al

Parental rights are fundamental. And because of this, public schools cannot lie to parents and tell 13-year-old children to also lie to their parents.

That is what our friend of the court brief to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Littlejohn v. School Board of Leon County, Florida, is all about.

The background in this case is that the Littlejohns are suing the school board and teachers and administrators in Leon County after finding out that the public school was encouraging their then 13-year-old daughter to lie to them, deceive them about her gender identity, and change her name and gender 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 daughter, the public-school officials thought they knew what was best for the adolescent and continued their deceptive course of action.

Our brief is in support of the parents and their lawsuit. We made it clear to the Eleventh Circuit that this is not really a case about the gender identity of a 13-year-old; this case is about whether a public school can tell impressionable minors 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 court 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 existing precedent in parental rights cases to show how the parents should easily win this lawsuit.

We wrote this brief to help not just the Eleventh Circuit, but more importantly to help families 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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