Pine-Richland School District Sued Over Protections for Trans Students

The legal battle is another effort in Trump-allied organizations' manufactured culture wars.

Photo by G. Michael Beigay.

A lawsuit has been brought against the Pine-Richland School District by a law firm with ties to former President Donald Trump, challenging the district’s privacy policies regarding transgender students. The policies in question allow students to express their gender identity without parental notification unless the student consents.

“The fact that a student chooses to disclose his or her transgender status to District staff or other students does not authorize District staff to re-disclose that information,” the policy currently states.

Filed by America First Legal, which paid for the anti-trans ads on local radio stations in 2022, the suit argues that these policies violate parental rights over their children’s care. Parental notification without consent would put students at risk. While the school district has not commented, other legal experts and parents have shown support for the district’s approach.

“When we take away their autonomy and we out them to their parent, we potentially put them in a very dangerous situation,” Jule Arney, director of training and research at the Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation, told WESA.

The suit seeks to overturn the school policy and claims monetary damages. The legal battle is another effort in Trump-allied organizations’ manufactured culture wars.

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