A concerned community member sent Parents Defending Education a video from the organization CatholicVote showing a father of a student in Clay County District Schools talking about how his daughter almost committed suicide in January 2022. He explained that his 12-year-old daughter “attempted suicide by hanging in one of the school bathrooms” after a school counselor and her school affirmed a “gender identity” different from her biological sex. The father explained that the school did this behind her parent’s backs:
We were told that they knew about the gender issue due to meetings they were having with our daughter behind our backs. We learned that during these meetings, our daughter’s confusion was affirmed and validated through the use of fictitious male names and male pronouns. Our daughter was living a double life without our consent or knowledge. She was affirmed and socially transitioned in school.
The father explained that his family would not validate his daughter’s perceived gender identity. He provided his daughter with “proper mental health care and non-affirming therapy.” He also mentioned that disorders such as depression and anxiety were treated for his daughter. He continued to explain: “We brought her back from her confusion. She is steadfast and sure of her gender.” The father also explains that his daughter was “taken away from us with minimal contact for over a week until she was released under our care.” The video is reportedly from when the father spoke with Florida’s surgeon general.
First Coast News reported that the girl’s parents sued the school district in January 2022 after “they said their daughter attempted suicide two days in a row following meetings with a counselor about ‘gender identity confusion.'” Her father said that the school counselor explained that he and his wife were not told about their daughter because of their Catholic religious beliefs. He explained:
The school counselor alleged that it [suicide attempts] was because of a gender identity issue, and that they knew we as parents would not be in agreement because of our Catholic Christian beliefs. My daughter never exhibited any signs of gender confusion or questioning her biological sex.
He continued to explain that “the school counselor went so far as to encourage and call our daughter by a fictitious male name and male pronouns in front of the other students, causing a pattern of bullying against our daughter.” He explained that the school counselor called him about the suicide attempts on January 5. His daughter was then “taken to the hospital and admitted to the behavioral health unit” until January 12.
Genspect reported that the organization “Child & Parental Rights Campaign filed suit in federal court on behalf” of the parents. Genspect continued to report that “the lawsuit alleges violations of the parents’ custodial rights under the Florida Constitution and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” Genspect explained:
The suit, which was filed in the Middle District of Florida against the Clay County Schools superintendent and three Paterson Elementary officials, alleges that the school counselor engaged in secret therapy sessions with [the girl] over the course of several months last year regarding [the girl’s] distress over being bullied and her confusion about her gender. Paterson Elementary is located in Fleming Island.
Genspect also reported that “by the time [the girl’s] parents had arrived at the school, the child was being placed into the back of a police car to be transported to a hospital for involuntary examination under Florida’s ‘Baker Act’ law.” The organization stated that “the Baker Act allows law enforcement and certain health officials to initiate a mental health examination in the event a person is an imminent risk to herself or others based on apparent mental illness.”