Parents are suing a school district in Oregon after a teacher kept their eight year-old son in from recess for several days to educate him about being transgendered.
According to the Statesman Journal, the boy’s second-grade teacher saw him using a staff restroom and assumed that it was due to gender identity issues. In reality, the student has a medical condition so he was allowed to use the staff bathroom. Without asking the student why he was using that bathroom, or asking the parents for permission, this teacher took it upon herself to help the young child with the gender identity issues she incorrectly assumed he was working through.
According to the complaint, the teacher kept him back from recess to show him books and movies “in an effort to promote (him) becoming transgender.”
The Statesman Journal reports that:
The complaint also alleges the following:
In April 2018, without notifying the parents and without any authorization from the school district, the teacher began developing a lesson plan to help the boy understand what it meant to be transgender.
She then began keeping the student inside the classroom alone during recess at least three times to show him videos and teach him “it is acceptable to become transgender.”
These lessons included episodes of the reality television series “I Am Jazz” about a transgender girl named Jazz Jennings, books “I Am Jazz” and “Who are You? The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity” and discussions on the difference between male and female body parts.
The books and show, which were recommended by an “unknown non-school employee transgender individual,” exposed the boy to sexual topics and sexual discussions, according to the lawsuit.
During the lessons, the student was not allowed to go outside for recess until he finished the videos or books.
At the end of the week, the teacher sent home materials to read and share with his family. It was only then that his parents became aware of what was happening at school.
“(They) were extremely shocked to find out that she would expose (their son) to various sexual concepts, such as the difference between male and female body parts,” the family’s attorney Edgar Diaz said in the lawsuit.
After the child’s parents complained, the school simply told the teacher to follow school policy about teaching controversial topics and let parents know if a child’s school schedule is going to be altered. They also reportedly discounted the issues the boy was now facing, saying “if this happened in Portland, it would not be a big deal.”
The lessons had lasting damage, according to the lawsuit. According to the report:
The boy became confused about whether he going to turn into a girl. He now shies away from playing with “girl” toys or playing “girl-related” games. He underwent personality changes, becoming more depressed, aggressive and isolated and now attends counseling.
“He has also become afraid of attending his current school, seeing (the teacher) and using the boys’ bathroom,” Diaz said in the complaint.
His parents have also struggled with anxiety, stress and depression following the incident.
While these incidents took place nearly a year ago, the child is still confused by them, his mother says. She told Fox 12 Oregon “Still today, a year later, if he plays with my niece, he’s a girl in that moment… if he plays with my nephew, he’s a boy.”
His father said that this isn’t about his son’s gender identity, it’s about the ease with which the teacher pulled him aside and shared confusing material with him that should have required parental consent. “He can be whatever he wants, I don’t care what he is. I just want him to be my happy son and I feel like she messed that up. It frustrates me that my son can be influenced that drastically, and nothing be done about it they just wanted to sweep it under the rug.”
The lawsuit is asking for $79,000 for counseling, medication, doctor’s appointments, and therapy as well as 920,000 in non-economic damages.