". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


SCOTUS Rejects Parents’ Petition against ‘Secret Gender Transitions’ in Schools

May 21, 2024

A left-wing school district in the Old Line State is attempting to hide LGBT grooming from parents, and the nation’s top court is refusing to intervene. On Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari in a case brought by Maryland parents against the Montgomery County Board of Education (MCBE). During the 2020 to 2021 school year, the board adopted a new policy allowing schools to hide children’s “gender identities” from parents. A group of parents filed a lawsuit and, in 2022, Obama-appointed Judge Paul Grimm of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland ruled against them.

The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision last year — a ruling which the parents had hoped the Supreme Court would reverse. Trump-appointed Judge A. Marvin Quattlebaum authored the majority opinion, acknowledging that the arguments made against MCBE’s policy were “quite persuasive,” but ultimately concluding that the parents lacked the standing to sue since they had prevented no evidence that the policy was directly impacting their own children. Judge Paul Niemeyer, a George H.W. Bush appointee, dissented, arguing that his colleagues were reading “the Parents’ complaint in this case in an unfairly narrow way” and that parents shouldn’t have to wait until they “learn that their own children are actually considering gender transition” before challenging the policy.

Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, called the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case “disturbing.” In comments to The Washington Stand, she lamented, “So many times it is painfully obvious to parents what the unintended consequences of a particular policy or intervention will be. But for whatever reason, nothing will stop that policy or intervention until a child or many children are actually harmed.” She added, “As a parent, you hope that a dispassionate third-party like a court would be able to see the point and help you protect your child for potential harm, so the fact that the local court, the appeals court, and the Supreme Court are refusing to intervene is very disheartening.”

“Progressive counties like Montgomery County Maryland make it impossible for parents to ‘vote out the school board.’ For these parents, the only relief would’ve come from the courts, and now that relief is not coming,” Kilgannon continued, noting, “The fact that this specific case deals with secret gender transition plans makes it all the more discouraging. When a school can begin a medical intervention to change the sex of your child behind the backs of the child’s parents, and the court can find no reason to intervene to stop that insanity, I guess I will just say that Maryland is on the wrong side of history here.”

Just last week, the Fourth Circuit Court issued another ruling regarding Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). The court denied a request for a preliminary injunction to allow parents to opt their children — some of them as young as three years old — out of LGBT-themed lessons and classroom discussions on religious grounds. When MCPS rescinded a policy alerting parents of when those lessons would be taught and allowing them to opt their children out of them, a group of predominantly Christian and Muslim parents sued. Both the local district court and the circuit court refused to halt the policy change.

In that case, however, Quattlebaum dissented, arguing that the petitioning parents had demonstrated that “the board’s decision to deny religious opt-outs burdened these parents’ right to exercise their religion and direct the religious upbringing of their children by putting them to the choice of either compromising their religious beliefs or foregoing a public education for their children.”

MCPS is far from the only school district to hide children’s gender transitions from parents. Last summer, Parents Defending Education reported that 1,040 school districts held policies instructing or encouraging teachers and other school employees to hide students’ social gender transitions and related requests from parents. Since then, the number of schools holding such policies has increased to 1,062, comprising nearly 19,000 schools and impacting almost 11 million students. Eight of Maryland’s 25 school districts are on the list, including MCPS.

Despite the proliferation and even growth of “secret gender transition policies” in schools, polling has demonstrated that the majority of Americans — including almost half of Democrats — support parental notification policies. A survey released late last year found that close to 70% of Americans back parental notification policies. Over 80% of Republicans and 62% of Independent voters supported such policies, as did 49% of Democrats, while only 30% of Democrats opposed them. In deep-blue New Jersey, another poll found that almost 80% of Garden State adults support parental notification policies, including over 60% of Democrats.

While schools in the U.S. continue to hide children’s gender identities from their parents, the U.K. ordered schools in December to notify parents. “It is important that the views of the child’s parents should carry great weight and be properly considered. We would expect parental consent to be required in the vast majority of cases,” the U.K. Department for Education wrote. As a whole, the U.K. has been halting gender transition procedures for minors, with both England and Scotland barring the prescription of puberty blockers and hormone drugs and the Cass Review warning that such interventions may be irreparably harmful and are not currently supported by any long-term evidence. France, Sweden, Finland, and Norway have also pumped the brakes on child gender transitions, leaving the U.S. an outlier.

Kilgannon concluded, “We all must pray for the families and the children who will be harmed as a result of this insane situation — and for the conversion of people who believe that it’s possible to be born in the wrong body and tell children that lie.”

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.