Christian parents sue Michigan school district for respecting the humanity of their trans son
Dan and Jennifer Mead are furious the Rockford Public School District used their son's pronouns and name
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Two awful Christian parents are suing a public school district for looking out for the best interests of their child after they made it clear they weren’t interested in the same goal.
Dan and Jennifer Mead have a transgender son. The child didn’t feel comfortable admitting this to them, so he told his teachers and counselors at East Rockford Middle School in Michigan instead. In 2022, the child specifically requested that they refer to him using masculine pronouns, which the adults at the school did. The ’s Rockford Public School District didn’t have any policy requiring school officials to “out” kids against their will, so no one told the Meads about this.
Months later, the Meads discovered what was going on after an email they received accidentally used their son’s name (instead of the one he was assigned at birth), and they pulled their son from the school district.
Now, with the help of conservative legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christians are suing the district for protecting their child.
Or, as ADF describes it (all while misgendering the kid):
By deliberately hiding important information from the Meads about their daughter, the school district violated their parental rights. Parents have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, and health care of their children, and government officials have no right to hide critical information from them.
The entire lawsuit is a giant admission that these parents are failures. If your son or daughter doesn’t feel safe trusting you with information that consequential, there’s probably a good reason for that.
The district has a legal obligation to help the children, not put their lives in danger by outing them to their parents against their will. In some cases, that could lead to abuse at home. It could mean the kid has to go through conversion torture. It could mean getting kicked out of the house. Going by a different name or pronoun is also not the sort of thing counselors should have to run by parents for approval. If that’s what the kid wants and it improves their mental well-being and ability to function in school, fantastic. (Keep in mind the Meads’ child may have told the counselors why he didn’t feel comfortable sharing this with his parents but we’re not privy to that information.)
How horrible were the counselors at the school? The Meads provide examples in their lawsuit. Just consider this email that one social worker sent to colleagues asking if they would let the Meads’ son (whose name begins with the letter F) eat lunch in the library instead of the cafeteria:
F is another person we should add to the library lunch option. He said he would sometimes like to have a quieter environment to eat and he knows [other student name redacted in original] who would be in lunch with him.
Erin, F might be stopping by to see you today. He tried earlier and the office was locked which is how he ended up in my office. He’s a super cool kid-I really enjoyed my time with him. He’s very self aware!
Here’s another email that same social worker sent to the student’s math teacher:
I met with F [Mead] today and he said he’s struggling to understand math and feels “stupid” in it. I told him you’re a great person to talk to about extra help. I also suggested he could come to Rob’s room prior to school starting which would be a quiet space to work and with Rob’s math knowledge, he’d be a great resource.
That’s the sort of thing the Meads and ADF lawyers are so mad about. Adults at the school were referring to the student by his name… and looking out for him… and as we know by now, conservative Christians hate it when other people show compassion to the people Jesus taught them to hate.
At no point in the lawsuit (or the ADF’s press release) do the Meads explain why their son might not have told them he was trans. They never really grapple with having a trans kid. Nor do they offer any sympathy for the educators who did everything in their power to make school a safe space for their son. They definitely don’t explain why their kid will be better off being home-schooled now that they’ve withdrawn their son from the public schools.
They don’t have to explain any of this in the lawsuit, but they’re so hell-bent on going after the school district, they repeatedly reveal their own internal monstrosity. The same can be said for the morally bankrupt attorneys at ADF representing them.
The Meads go on to blame the adults in the district for attempting to “socially transition” their child, as if the school’s goal was to make the child transgender. The Meads claim school officials “who lack appropriate training are not qualified to diagnose gender dysphoria,” though that’s not what happened either.
The reality is that school officials simply accommodated a request from a student who wasn’t asking for much, and now these bigots are coming after them for violating their supposed constitutional right to be shitty parents.