Parents of a 13-year-old daughter have filed a federal lawsuit against a Florida school district after officials at Deerlake Middle School secretly “transitioned” her into a “transgender male,” or a biological girl who says she wants to live as a boy, including allowing her to use male spaces like bathrooms and choosing pronouns.
Jeffrey and January Littlejohn’s daughter, who is referred to as A.G. in court filings, did talk about her gender confusion with her mother, who holds a master’s degree in counseling from Florida State University.
January spoke at a gathering of the Florida Family Policy Council about the school withholding from her and her husband what the school did without their knowledge or permission:
So when our daughter told us she was experienced to stress about her gender at the height of the pandemic we were completely caught by surprise. She had expressed no signs of gender confusion or distress in early childhood or leading up into this announcement.
“So we were trying our best to navigate these unchartered waters and support her in the best way we could and help her through her feelings,” January Littlejohn said. “We found a counsellor, and started our own research which led us to gender ideology.”
But when the Littlejohns learned the truth about what the school did, they were shocked and outraged.
The Washington Examiner reported on the lawsuit:
The lawsuit says the Littlejohns informed their daughter’s math teacher, Rima Kelly, about the teenager’s gender dysphoria and continued treatment with a mental health counselor on Aug. 27, 2020.Kelly offered to inform the school about their daughter’s desires to identify as nonbinary, which the parents declined. The teacher is not a named defendant in the case.
A couple of weeks later, on Sept. 14, while she was getting into the car, the Littlejohns’ daughter mentioned that the school had asked her which bathroom she wanted to use, which the lawsuit says she thought was “funny.”
January Littlejohn told the Washington Examiner that was the first time she became aware that the school was meeting with her daughter and assisting the teenager in embracing a different gender identity in school settings. The school did not facilitate any transition-related medical procedures.
The school claimed the child needed to authorize for her parents to be at the meeting.
The Littlejohns’ attorney, Vernadette Broyles of a nonprofit law firm called the Child and Parental Rights Campaign, said the school could not provide the text the law officials referred to. The Examiner reported:
The lawsuit says that the school district was relying upon the LCS Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Nonconforming and Questioning Support Guide, which expressly directs school administrators to avoid notifying the child’s parents about a child’s gender identity, claiming such an action could lead to the student becoming homeless.
What the school district did is tantamount to saying children need to be protected from their parents, rather than by their parents. This guidance that they had in place and their actions convey the message that parents are presumed to be dangerous to their children.
“That is an extremely disturbing message to any parent, regardless of their views, beliefs, backgrounds and is certainly not the law in the state of Florida,” Broyles said.
“This lawsuit is really about protecting the rights of parents to raise their children without the interference of government officials,” Broyles said. “But it’s also about protecting and championing the vulnerable children that are at the center of these situations.”
The case is Littlejohn v. School Board of Leon County, 4:21-cv-00415 before the United States District Court for the Northern District Court of Florida.
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