America First Legal Sues Public Schools Mesa for Promoting Student ‘Gender Transitions’ Without Notifying Parents

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, America First Legal (AFL) filed a lawsuit on behalf of Rachel Walden – a member of the governing board of Mesa Public Schools (MPS) – against MPS and MPS Superintendent Andi Fourlis for encouraging and helping students to identify as members of the opposite sex without notifying parents.

MPS is the largest school district in Arizona, with approximately 55,000 students. The city of Mesa is the third largest in Arizona and the second largest in the Phoenix metropolitan area. A 2014 study found that Mesa is the most conservative big city in America. But since at least 2015, MPS has maintained a policy of helping students who want to “transition” their genders. Under this policy, MPS employees ask students if they want their parents to be informed about the transition.

If students do not want to inform their parents, MPS employees are required to keep this information hidden from parents. This policy of non-notification of parents was made explicit and in writing. After controversy arose in the local community over the non-notification policy, MPS revised its written documents to obfuscate the policy. The new policy repeals the legal requirement for parental notification, but also allows school employees to tell students about their sexual identity without the parents’ knowledge. And it also teaches students how to make sure their parents never know they’ve told school employees about their sexual identity.

Even worse, the policy allows students to use locker rooms and showers intended for members of the opposite sex. The latest version of the policy only requires parental notification later MPS began to help a student with the social transition in the school, and it is still unclear if these notifications actually happened.

The policy directly violates several statutes, most notably the Arizona Parental Bill of Rights, which recognizes and protects the “fundamental right” of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children”. The policy also violates many other statutes, such as the requirement that “parents shall be notified in advance of … any instruction … or presentations regarding sexuality,” and the requirement that parents provide consent prior to any “mental health screening in a non-clinical setting or mental health treatment on a minor.”

In a blatant disregard for democratic principles, MPS maintains this policy of parental non-notification and facilitation of sexual transition, even though the MPS elected governing board has never voted to adopt such a policy and yet and state law allows only one school district. the board to adopt “policies and procedures to govern the schools.”

America First Legal will always fight against radical transgender ideology that tells the lie that boys can be girls and girls can be boys. In addition, AFL will continue to fight for the rights of parents throughout the country so that parents have maximum control in the upbringing of their children, not radical school bureaucrats.

If you are a parent of a student at MPS who is concerned about these policies, we want to hear from you at [email protected].

Statement by Gene Hamilton, America’s Senior Vice President Legal and General Counsel:

“Not only do parents have a fundamental right to direct their children’s education, but the Arizona Constitution and law prohibit the types of policies we are challenging here for our client. School districts like MPS have the obligation to notify parents if their child tries to identify as a different gender. The people of Mesa are rightly outraged by these radical policies and we will fight for the right of every parent to direct the education of their children” , said Gene Hamilton.

Read the process here.

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