The parents of an eight-year-old boy are suing an Oregon school district for nearly $1 million dollars, claiming that their son’s second-grade teacher pulled him from recess multiple times to question him about his gender identity. The parents say that their son is now “confused” and taking anxiety medication.
Parents from Woodburn, Oregon, are suing the Woodburn School District for roughly $1 million dollars, alleging that a teacher at Nellie Muir Elementary School singled out their son by pulling him from recess multiple times to have one-on-one conversations about his gender identity, according to a report by KPTV.
The parents say that the teacher had inappropriate conversations with their son and asked him multiple times if he thought he was a girl. The parents add that unbeknownst to them, the teacher had held their son back from recess on several occasions so that he could watch videos and read books about being transgender.
“He feels different now, he feels confused. To hear your son say that — on a couch talking to a therapist, holding back tears — it’s very heartbreaking,” said the boy’s mother, who added that she had discovered the transgender reading material after her son came home with one of the books in his backpack.
“She should have notified us if that was the case, if he did say he felt like a girl,” added the student’s father of the elementary school teacher.
The parents claim that the teacher got the videos and books from one of her transgender friends, and that the inappropriate conversations took place in April 2018. The report added that the parents have decided not to share their identities in order to protect their son’s privacy.
“Still today, a year later, if he plays with my niece, he’s a girl in that moment — if he plays with my nephew, he’s a boy,” said the mother.
The parents allege that the gender identity conversations began when their son started using the staff restroom due to having a medical problem that made him feel uncomfortable using the same restroom as his classmates, and that the teacher had likely assumed their son was uncomfortable due to confusion about his gender identity.
The parents say that now, one year later, their son is taking anxiety medication and going to therapy, and that the boy’s confusion has negatively affected the family. According to KPTV, the mother says she is now on medical leave and suffering from anxiety and depression, while the father says he is suffering from panic attacks.
The school acknowledged the allegations in a letter released in May 2018, which stated that “evidence was found that [the teacher] did pull [the mother’s] son from regular school activities,” and that the teacher “did share potentially controversial materials” and “discuss gender identity” with the boy, without notifying the parents or being granted administrative approval.
The report adds that the lawsuit filed by the parents accuses the school district of negligence, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.