WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, America First Legal (AFL) announced the filing of an amended complaint in Walden v. Mesa Unified School District to add a new plaintiff to the case–the mother of a daughter whose gender was clandestinely transitioned by school officials from Arizona’s Mesa Unified School District, which is more commonly known as Mesa Public Schools (MPS).
The mother, named Jane Doe in the complaint to protect her daughter’s identity, is suing because school officials at her daughter’s junior high in Mesa, Arizona helped her socially transition her gender in school and keep it hidden from her parents.
The daughter, named Megan Doe in the suit, had been going by the name “Michael” in school for months when her mother found out by chance. On Halloween, the mother of Megan’s friend asked Jane if she was “Michael’s” mother. Surprised by the question, Jane looked back at some recent school programs and realized that her daughter had been listed as “Michael Doe,” rather than “Megan Doe.”
Jane met with the school principal, who confirmed the name change and that the school had intentionally been keeping it hidden from Jane. The principal refused to provide much additional detail about what school officials had been saying to Megan. Despite Jane’s requests, the school has never released any records or information to Jane about what school employees did or said to encourage Megan’s transition.
Once Jane found out about Megan’s struggles, they were able to talk about them with love and empathy. Megan was able to talk to her therapist about them as well. Within a month, Megan’s gender identity issues were resolved. Megan is now very comfortable presenting herself as a female and using her given name and is thriving in high school. If MPS employees hadn’t concealed Megan’s gender identity issues from Jane, Megan would have avoided many months of needless suffering and angst.
Additionally, the amended complaint incorporates new information obtained by local community member Ed Steele through a public records request. Those records show that the school counselor at Kino Junior High, an MPS school, was actively hiding students’ gender transitions from parents. Those records include a spreadsheet maintained by the counselor that tracked which students’ parents knew about their in-school gender transition, and whether school employees needed to use the students’ new names and pronouns or their birth names and pronouns with parents ignorant of the change. The spreadsheet was essentially a “parental concealment cheat sheet” to make sure all school employees knew which parents to deceive and how to do it.
The suit alleges that MPS maintains a policy of hiding from parents when a child socially transitions to a different gender in school. This policy is directly contrary to Arizona’s Parents’ Bill of Rights, which makes it illegal for government employees “to encourage or coerce” a child “to withhold information from the child’s parent.” A.R.S. § 1-602(C). The Parents’ Bill of Rights also gives parents the right “to direct the” “education,” “upbringing,” “moral or religious training,” and “health care decisions” of their children. The complaint alleges that MPS’s trans policy violates all of these provisions. Arizona law also prohibits school employees from providing sex education or having any other type of discussion with students “regarding sexuality” without parental permission. Any policy that involves school officials helping students to transition their gender without their parent’s knowledge also violates these common-sense parental notification laws.
AFL filed the original version of the suit on behalf of school board member Rachel Walden against MPS. Governing Board Member Walden remains an active plaintiff in the case.
America First Legal will always fight against radical transgender ideology that tells the lie that boys can be girls and girls can be boys. Moreover, AFL will continue to fight for parental rights across the country so that parents have the utmost control in raising their children, not radical school bureaucrats.
Statement from America First Legal Senior Counsel James Rogers:
“Mesa Public Schools Superintendent Andi Fourlis has consistently denied that school district employees are helping to gender-transition students without their parents’ knowledge. The evidence strongly suggests otherwise. No parent should have to go through what Jane and Megan Doe did. AFL is helping to shine a spotlight on transgender policies that MPS has worked hard to hide from the public. There’s nowhere for them to hide any longer. AFL will proudly continue to fight for parents’ rights in Arizona and across the county.“ said James Rogers.
Read the Amended Complaint here.
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