In Tatel v. Mt. Lebanon School District, (WD PA, Oct. 27, 2022), a Pennsylvania federal district court allowed parents of first graders to move ahead with their due process, equal protection and free exercise claims against a teacher who has a transgender child for teaching their students about transgender topics over parental objections. It also permitted plaintiffs to move ahead against school administrators, the school board and the school district The court summarized its decision, saying in part:
[T]he factual allegations in the complaint present plausible claims that Parents have fundamental constitutional rights (pursuant to Substantive and Procedural Due Process under the Fourteenth Amendment and the First Amendment Free Exercise clause) that were violated by a public school teacher, over the Parents’ objections and without notice and opt out rights, when the teacher promoted her own agenda to their first grade children about gender dysphoria and transgender transitioning, including showing videos or reading books about those topics, telling the children that the Parents may be wrong about the child’s gender, telling a child she would never lie (implying the parents may be lying about the child’s identity), telling the children to keep the discussions about transgender topics secret, and grooming a student to become a transgender child. The Equal Protection and familial privacy claims asserted by the Plaintiffs are plausible, but will benefit from further factual development.
A claim based on the children’s privacy rights was dismissed without prejudice.