Parents Defending Education Opening Brief in Linn-Mar Community School District Lawsuit


On November 3, 2022, Parents Defending Education filed its opening brief in Parents Defending Education v. Linn-Mar Community School District, et. al.

The Linn-Mar Community School District recently passed a policy (Policy 504.13R) that tramples on the constitutional rights of parents and students. The Policy authorizes children to make fundamentally important decisions concerning their gender identity, such as changing their name, pronouns, and participation in school activities, without any parental involvement. Moreover, the District prohibits school officials from “disclos[ing] information that may reveal a student’s transgender status” to the student’s parents unless “the student has authorized the disclosure.” App.297, R. Doc. 3-11, at 45. The Policy also punishes students for expressing their sincerely held beliefs about sex and gender. Specifically, students will be punished for speech that does not “respect a student’s gender identity” and for “misgendering,” which is defined as “intentionally or accidentally us[ing] the incorrect name or pronouns to refer to a person.” App.298, 301, R. Doc. 3-11, at 46, 49.

Appellant Parents Defending Education (“PDE”) has members whose children are being harmed by the Policy. These parents want to ask the District on a regular basis whether their children have been given a gender support plan; they want to exercise their fundamental right as parents to guide their child’s upbringing; and they want their children to be free to express their beliefs at school without fear of punishment. The district court below erred in denying PDE’s motion to preliminarily enjoin the District from enforcing the Policy. Because this case presents important questions of law, PDE respectfully requests 30 minutes of oral argument.