Florida parents have filed a lawsuit against Clay County Schools, claiming their 12-year-old daughter attempted suicide after having weekly meetings for months with a school counselor who affirmed her identity as a boy without the parents’ knowledge.
In a press release sent to Breitbart News Tuesday, Child & Parental Rights Campaign, Inc. (CPRC-C) announced the lawsuit it filed in federal district court on behalf of the Perez family, claiming Clay County Schools and Paterson Elementary School officials secretly affirmed their young daughter’s gender confusion “to the point of causing physical harm.”
The press statement noted the parents are claiming district and school officials dismissed:
…their parental rights by concealing from the parents the fact that school officials were having secret meetings with their daughter affirming the girl as a boy when their 12-year-old daughter began expressing gender confusion at school.
CPR-C, a Georgia-based non-profit, public interest law firm, states Mr. and Mrs. Perez were called by the school counselor at Paterson Elementary School on January 5 and informed they needed to come to the school immediately to discuss their sixth-grade daughter.
The statement described what the parents found:
When they arrived at the school, the parents were kept waiting for 20 minutes. Eventually, they met with the principal, the assistant principal, a Clay County Police Officer, and the counselor. They were then informed that their 12-year-old daughter had tried to commit suicide at school, twice in two days.
DailyMail.com reported the daughter attempted suicide by “hanging herself in one of the bathrooms” at Paterson Elementary School.
“Shocked, the parents asked why this had happened,” the public interest law firm stated, adding:
The school counselor responded that it was because of the child’s gender identity issue and that they knew her parents would not be in agreement because of their Catholic Christian beliefs. Prior to the incident their daughter had not exhibited any signs of gender confusion or questioning of her biological identity as a girl.
The school counselor then revealed she had been secretly meeting each week with the couple’s daughter – for three to four months – regarding the young girl’s gender confusion, all without informing her parents, CPR-C stated.
DailyMail.com identified the school counselor as Destiney Washington, and reported the legal complaint claims “school leaders encouraged other students and staff to refer to the young girl as a boy and even gave her a new name.”
When the parents brought up the fact they had not been informed about the secret meetings between their daughter and the school counselor, an administrator responded that “confidentiality issues” prevented them from informing the parents, an assertion CPR-C described as “remarkable” and one for which the official did not present any legal authority.
“It is a serious mental health decision that school personnel are not qualified, not competent, and not authorized to make,” Vernadette Broyles, CPR-C’s president, said, according to Action News Jax. “Parents must be involved in these important decisions.”
According to the news story, a Jacksonville counselor said a child’s confidentiality is protected from parents until she is determined to be a danger to herself or others.
The law firm continued the parents were not provided “the opportunity to take their daughter to the hospital” or to “ride with her” in a police vehicle “to provide her comfort on the trip to the hospital.”
The young girl was reportedly kept in the local hospital emergency room until the early morning, when she was transported, alone, to another emergency room and then admitted to Wolfson Children’s Hospital’s behavioral health unit, where she remained until January 12, when she was released into her parents’ care.
“It was a nightmare for us,” Perez told Action News Jax, adding he “took offense” at Washington’s claim his daughter did not want her parents to know about her alleged gender crisis because of their Catholic faith.
“[T]hat had nothing to do with it,” he said. “I mean I don’t even know if she understands our faith. That demonstrated she was ignorant about it. Our faith is one of unconditional love for our children.”
CPR-C attorney Mary McAlister said:
Once again we have Florida school officials usurping the rights of parents because school officials believe they are better equipped to raise children than are the child’s natural parents. Parental rights are amongst our most venerated constitutionally protected rights and are critical to the integrity of our public school system of education.
CPR-C also made the following statement in its press release about the case:
Endorsing a discordant gender identity in conflict with a child’s biological reality is a serious mental health decision that school personnel are neither competent, qualified, nor authorized to make. By its actions the school’s personnel substituted their judgment for that of the parents and in doing so placed this child’s life at risk.
School officials showed utter disregard for the rights and beliefs of the parents. The school’s clandestine and unauthorized actions deprived these parents of their right to be informed of what was going on with their daughter concerning a serious mental health issue and of their ability to provide their child the mental health assistance she needed. In short, they deprived these parents of the right and ability to care for and protect their child.
According to Action News Jax, Clay County Schools said in a statement, “We performed an investigation into these allegations and believe the statements made by this out-of-state organization invalid.”
CPR-C’s website informs the law firm was founded “to respond to a radical new ideology overtaking families and threatening the well-being of children and the fundamental right of parents to direct the care, education, and upbringing of their children.”
“Children are being led to believe a powerful untruth about their bodies – that they could be ‘born in the wrong body,’” the firm states, adding:
This ideology seeks to replace biological reality with an artificial social construct known as “gender identity” that is promoting unscientific, untested, and life-altering procedures for children. As a result, irreversible chemical and surgical interventions are being performed on children for purely psychological reasons.
“There are no long-term studies that validate these treatments as safe and effective for children,” CPR-C asserts. “Activists are threatening parents to consent to these treatments or their children will commit suicide.”
“Schools and state officials act wrongly, and perhaps illegally, when they interfere with the parent-child relationship in the name of affirming children’s disturbed feelings about their sex,” the law firm states.