Twenty-one state attorneys general have filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit challenging a Florida middle school’s “transgender-support plan” that excludes parental consent.
The lawsuit, which was filed in 2021 by January and Jeffrey Littlejohn, alleges that administrators at Deerlake Middle School in Tallahassee implemented a “transgender support plan” after their daughter questioned her gender at school without informing them.
After a federal district court in Florida sided with the school, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen led the coalition of the 21 state attorneys general in filing the amicus brief May 31 in support of the Littlejohns’ continued legal fight.
In addition to Montana, the Republican-led states who signed on to the brief include: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
“This is a very seminal case,” Knudsen contended June 1 on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.” “I mean, look, you’ve got a situation here where a public school has basically inserted itself between a child and the child’s parents, and that should horrify everyone. What’s even more horrifying is that a federal district court in Florida found that that was OK, which is why we’re going up to the 11th Circuit.”
Knudsen commented further on the Family Research Council’s broadcast, “It’s a longstanding facet of American jurisprudence that parents are the primary decision makers for their children. We call them minors for a reason. They haven’t reached the age of majority yet, to use a legal term. We don’t let minors join the military. We don’t let them consume alcohol. We don’t let them vote until they’re 18. And there’s good reason for that, because their brains are not fully developed. We know this from science, but we also know from thousands of years of just being humans that parents are in a better place to make decisions for their children.”
When January Littlejohn learned about the situation and confronted school officials, the school’s guidance counselor and vice principal told the mother that they could not disclose what had been discussed in the meeting with her daughter, unless the child first agreed that her parents should be included in ongoing discussions.
“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 told “Fox & Friends First” in May 2022.
Littlejohn, who is also a mental health professional, said that during the pandemic her daughter had expressed confusion over gender after a group of friends attempted to transition to the opposite sex.
“So, 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 continued.
Responding to Perkins’ question about where a court ruling against the parents could lead, the Montana attorney general responded: “Does it go next to actual transitioning? Does it go to surgery? … You’re asking the right question — where does this end? That’s what’s so concerning about this.”
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