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Judge Reinstates Christian Teachers Placed on Leave for Refusing to Conceal Child’s Gender Issues From Parents

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High school students celebrating their gender choices
Source: André Mason/X

In California, teachers cannot notify parents when their child decides to switch their gender identity in school. The California State school board had to restore two Christian teachers to their jobs after a court ruling to that effect. After flouting a statewide rule, they placed the two teachers on administrative leave.

Right after their suspension, the two teachers took up the case in a lawsuit. Now, a federal judge has ruled in favor of the teachers. The school administration will have to restore them to their teaching positions. 

Lori Ann West and Elizabeth Mirabelli are the teachers in question. The lawsuit that they filed against California’s education board cites religious grounds as the basis for not following the rule that brought about their suspension. According to the two teachers, their faith does not allow them to deceive parents about their children’s gender alignments. 

Federal Judge Robert Benitez found holes in the rule that necessitates educators to keep mute when a child starts affirming a new gender identity in class. According to the judge, this rule violates the parent’s right to the Fourteenth Amendment. 

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Likewise, it also puts teachers in a difficult and potentially harmful position, where they have to keep secrets about a child’s development from the parent. Judge Benitez’s ruling reads, “It harms plaintiffs who are compelled to violate the parent’s rights by forcing plaintiffs to conceal information they feel is critical for the welfare of their students.” 

During a presentation in February 2023, the Californian education board told teachers to address students by whatever gender identity they affirm. So, teachers cannot stifle a student until they get confirmation from the parent for a gender transition. 

According to the presentation, a student affirming a gender is enough information to know how to address them. In effect, the California education board allows students to switch their gender identity as often as they want, and the teachers must conform to their preferred pronouns. 

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An excerpt of the presentation transcript, obtained by Fox News Digital, reads, “There is no need for a formal declaration. There’s no requirement for parent or caretaker agreement or even for knowledge for us to begin treating that student consistent with their gender identity.” In addition, there was a stern warning that non-compliance by teachers would be addressed as discrimination and intentional disregard of district policies. 

Ann West and Mirabelli were allowed religious exemptions from using personal pronouns for students at the onset. However, they could not uphold the rule that prevents them from informing parents about a student’s acclaimed gender change. 

ALSO READ: Seattle Mom Accuses Teacher of Telling Students It’s “Offensive” To Identify As Straight

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In 2023, this policy string was an intra-state battleground for California. So much so that the state of California sued Chino Valley School District in August. The lawsuit arose because the school district passed a counter legislation to what the presentation from February stipulates. The legislation requires teachers to inform parents when their wards show any indication of changing their identity.

Sonja Saw, a school district president, feels the government is trying too hard. According to her, state administrators run their offices with taxpayer money. So, governors and legislators should not shut out those same taxpayers from being a part of their children’s gender transition. 

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