Fourth Circuit Court Rules Against Parents Suing Montgomery Co. School District Over Secretive Gender Transition Policy

Evan Poellinger | August 22, 2023
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A three judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a lawsuit filed by a group of parents in opposition to Montgomery County Public Schools’ policy of concealing students’ gender transitions lacked standing. In a 2-1 ruling, Judges A. Martin Quattlebaum and Allison Jones Rushing found that the parents “have not alleged the type of injury required to show standing” that would enable them to pursue a lawsuit against Montgomery County Public Schools.

The ruling upheld a previous decision by Judge Paul Grimm of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, who dismissed the lawsuit in August, 2022.

The three parents initially filed suit anonymously in 2020 after learning about Montgomery County Public Schools’ Gender Identity Guidelines. These included provisions mandating that students be referred to by a preferred name and pronouns, as well as being allowed access to gender-specific areas according to their particular identity. Furthermore, the guidelines direct school officials to keep gender transitions secret if parents are disapproving.

Judge Quattlebaum acknowledged that the parents’ opposition to the district’s policy was “quite persuasive.” The policy in question allows Montgomery County Public Schools to “develop ‘gender support plans’ for trans-identified students without parental consent,” thereby “enabling officials to keep children's gender transitions a secret from their parents.”

Even so, Judge Quattlebaum concluded that, without a specific injury that the parents could demonstrate, the lawsuit represented “a policy disagreement,” rather than a matter that could be subject to “a judicial remedy.” In his dissent, Judge Paul Niemeyer declared Quattlebaum and Rushing’s reasoning to be “unfairly narrow” and added that such constraints meant “parents have no standing to challenge the Guidelines until they learn that their own children are actually considering gender transition.”

The parents are considering their next steps in opposing the policy, according to lawyer Frederick W. Claybrook, Jr.

When it comes to preaching acceptance, it seems the only type of acceptance schools refuse to accept is acceptance of parental input in their child’s education. Now, it seems that the courts have intervened to help enforce this gender indoctrination scheme.

Read full ruling.