Parents Defending Education Opening Brief in Olentangy Local School District Board of Education Lawsuit


On September 25, 2023, Parents Defending Education filed its opening brief in Parents Defending Education v. Olentangy Local School District Board of Education, et. al.

On August 15, 2023, PDE filed an unopposed motion to expedite this appeal and schedule oral argument for this Court’s December 2023 session. This Court granted the motion “insofar as that upon the completion of briefing, this appeal will be submitted to the court at the earliest practicable date that the court’s schedule will permit.” The merits panel still must decide “when and whether oral argument will be conducted and whether to expedite the issuance of a decision.”

The Court should hold oral argument during its December 2023 session. The Supreme Court has “made clear that students do not ‘shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression,’ even ‘at the schoolhouse gate.’” Mahanoy Area Sch. Dist. v. B.L. ex rel. Levy, 141 S.Ct. 2038, 2044 (2021). Yet the district court held that public schools can force students to use classmates’ “preferred pronouns” and can punish students who use pronouns that correspond with biological sex. The District’s policies unconstitutionally compel speech, discriminate based on viewpoint and content, and are overbroad. Because the district court improperly denied PDE’s request for a preliminary injunction, the Court should expedite oral argument and reverse.