A Federal Appeals court blocked an Iowa school system's policy requiring school staff and students to use the preferred pronouns of others. Attorneys from the Alabama-based Foundation for Moral Law had a part in the court victory.
The Linn-Mar Community School District in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, implemented the policy in April 2022, requiring teachers and students to acknowledge other people's self-defined gender identity. The policy also said some parents were not to be told of a child's gender identity choices. If they did not follow the procedure, staff and students would face discipline such as expulsion or firing.
Leading up to the policy being passed by the school board, a local news outlet suggested those who wanted to support Christian values and were protesting "transgender awareness" were tied to "white supremacy."
Concerned parents flocked to the school board to voice concerns over the proposed policy to no avail. The school board passed the policy without tabling the topic for further discussion.
However, Parents Defending Education filed a federal lawsuit against the school system to block the policy. This month, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the parents.
"A group called Parents Defending Education challenged the policy in federal district court, claiming that the policy deprived parents of their fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children and violates the free speech rights of students who do not believe in gender changes or preferred pronouns," said Kayla Moore, with the Foundation for Moral Law. "The Foundation for Moral Law filed an amicus brief supporting Parents Defending Education. The federal district court ruled against the parents' group, but the Eighth Circuit reversed that decision. The Eighth Circuit noted that the policy requiring students and personnel to 'respect a student's gender identity' could not only require students to use pronouns they do not wish to use but could also prohibit any speech critical of transgenderism. The Circuit Court therefore ordered the district court to grant a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of that portion of the policy."
Attorneys for the Foundation for Moral Law believe students have the right to identify themselves however they want, but they cannot require others to agree.
"The Linn Mar District policy is not isolated; it is followed, officially or unofficially, in districts across the nation, with support from the Biden Administration," foundation senior counsel John Eidsmoe, the primary author of the foundation's amicus brief, said. "The Foundation hopes this decision will be a beacon that will lead others to respect the constitutional rights of those who don't believe in gender transitions."
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