Reported by PHIL SHIVER | May 02, 2022
A Florida mother suing her 13-year-old daughter’s school for encouraging her gender transition without parental consent recently issued a stark warning to fellow parents across the country: The same thing could happen to them under similar protocols in place at schools nationwide.
“This is happening all over the nation,” warned January Littlejohn during an interview on Fox News Monday morning. “This same protocol is in place in many, many schools across districts everywhere, and even the guides being used to dictate these transgender support plans that cut parents out even have the same language.”
The Tallahassee-based mom and mental health professional, joined by her attorney Vernadette Broyles, explained to the network that her case is not an isolated one.
“This is a very systematic way that parents are being excluded from important decisions occurring with their children, and further, social transition is a medical intervention that schools are grossly unqualified to be taking these steps without parental involvement,” she said.
Littlejohn recalled that after her daughter expressed confusion over her gender during the COVID-19 pandemic, school administrators responded by enrolling her in a “transgender support plan” — without seeking parental approval. When questioned regarding the plan, the school allegedly declined to disclose any information, claiming Littlejohn’s daughter was “protected by a non-discrimination law.”
“Eventually we did see the transgender support plan, which was a six-page document that they completed with my daughter, that was 13 at the time, behind closed doors, where they asked her questions that would have absolutely impacted her safety, such as which restroom she preferred to use and which sex she preferred to room with on overnight field trips,” Littlejohn said.
Broyles added that she filed a lawsuit, arguing that Littlejohn’s parental rights were violated, and soon discovered that her client’s situation was similar to many others playing out around the country.
“We filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts, [and] there are lawsuits in Wisconsin, Maryland, Oregon, California,” the attorney said. “This is a national agenda, and parents need to recognize they have the right to direct the upbringing, education, care, medical decisions, mental health decisions of their child and they need to assert that right with their school.”
In their lawsuit against Leon County Schools officials last October, January and her husband, Jeffrey, claimed the defendants “violated their fundamental rights” as parents by “implementing a protocol which explicitly circumvents parental notification and involvement in critical decisions affecting their children’s mental, emotional and physical health.”
In filing the suit, the Littlejohns are seeking injunctive relief, a declaratory judgment, and damages for the violations. The school filed a motion to dismiss, and the Littlejohns filed an opposition in response, Broyles said. They are now awaiting a judge’s decision.
“What the school district did is tantamount to saying children need to be protected from their parents, rather than by their parents,” Broyles told the Washington Examiner late last year. “This guidance that they had in place and their actions convey the message that parents are presumed to be dangerous to their children.”
The Littlejohns’ lawsuit is considered to have been the catalyst for Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which was recently signed into law over and above frenzied backlash from progressive LGBT advocates and mainstream media outlets. The legislation bars discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms and assigns scaleable guidelines for appropriate discussions on the controversial subject matter in grades thereafter.
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