Two Colorado families are suing their children’s school district over allegations that teachers and administrators encouraged their daughters to join an LGBTQ club and keep its activities “secret” from them.
Parents Johnathan and Erin Lee and Nick and Linnaea Jurich, whose sixth grade daughters attend Wellington Middle-High School, sued educators at the Poudre School District (PSD) Wednesday with the help of America First Policy Institute (AFPI) and Illumine Legal, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by the Daily Caller.
Not only were the activities of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) not disclosed to parents, those who led the club’s meetings actively encouraged students to keep discussions about polyamory, suicide, puberty blockers, transgenderism, gender identity, sexuality and name and pronoun changes secret from their parents.
Teachers also invited substitute teacher Kimberly Chambers, who is the Executive Director of the Supporting Pride Learning and Social Happenings (SPLASH) organization that “seeks to educate school aged children on topics of sexuality and gender identity,” to speak at one of the GSA meetings, which was attended by the Lee’s sixth-grade daughter, according to the lawsuit.
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Chambers reportedly “told the children that if they are not completely comfortable in their bodies, that means that they are transgender,” while speaking to the school club on May 4, 2021. The teacher also had children discuss what sex and gender they are attracted to and awarded students with “LGBTQ paraphernalia such as toys, flags, and other swag” if they “came out” as transgender.
The teacher told students that there was “a higher likelihood of suicide by transgender youth,” but the Lee’s said their daughter did not even fully understand what suicide was at the time.
Chambers also repeatedly told students it “might not be safe to tell their parents what happened at the GSA meeting or to talk about transgender issues” and instead suggested they speak with her or other teachers. She offered students her phone number and told them to connect with her on Discord, so they could contact her at any time.
Johnathan and Erin Lee were excited that their “shy” daughter was asked to get involved in school activities because she had not had many opportunities to make friends, but they were alarmed to find out that upon returning home from the meeting she told them she “would be transitioning—despite never having had any thoughts about transgenderism before the meeting.”
Their daughter has since desisted in her desire to transition, but endured a “months-long emotional decline of gender and sexuality confusion that required counseling and included suicidal thoughts,” according to the lawsuit.
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The Jurich family is suing because their daughter was subject to much of the same treatment as the Lee’s daughter, where students were told by WMS art teacher and staff sponsor of the school-sponsored GSA club, Jenna Riep, “that if they did not like their bodies, they were most likely not the gender they were ‘assigned’ at birth.”
In addition, Riep “encouraged secrecy, confidentiality, and suspicion about whether her parents could be trusted with these discussions” and invited the Jurich’s daughter to attend a meeting with SPLASH, the organization that Chambers was associated with.
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Following the meeting, their daughter “began to have her first suicidal thoughts” and started leaving notes for her parents about transgenderism and stated she was “aromantic” and “asexual.” In the fall of 2021, she started to question her gender identity.
“After her experiences at the GSA club her relations with her friends deteriorated, and she was not comfortable with the idea of potentially taking classes with Riep,” the lawsuit reads. Their daughter’s emotional state “underwent a significant decline” to the point to where she asked to be homeschooled.
She eventually attempted suicide by drinking an ounce of bleach and has since “verbalized that her disturbed emotional state began when she attended GSA at WMS.”
In the same district, Fox News Digital previously reported that the assistant principal of Laurel Elementary School, Amanda Pawelski, asked other administrators how she should address a student whose parents instructed school staff to not use the student’s preferred gender pronouns, according to emails posted on Twitter by the senior fellow with Independent Women’s Forum Nicole Solas.
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“I feel very strongly about the student but have heard that we legally have to follow the parents’ direction due to the age of the child (elementary school),” Pawelski wrote in the email. “I’ve also heard that this is different in secondary schools due to legal determination ages.”
The district’s LGBTQIA+ Coordinator Shayna Seitchik explained that the “school should use the student’s affirming name and pronouns at school and use their legal name and corresponding pronouns when talking with the family until they are supportive of the student’s new name and pronouns.”