Pennsylvania parents sue over transgender lessons for first graders

The plaintiffs stated that the case is not about "public and political debate" on transgender issues.

Updated: June 12, 2022 - 4:19pm

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Three Pennsylvania mothers filed a lawsuit claiming that their children's first-grade teacher violated local policies and the Constitution by giving lessons to kids about gender transitioning and dysphoria.

Mothers Carmilla Tatel, Stacy Dunn and Gretchen Melton filed a federal lawsuit last week asking for the court to intervene at Jefferson Elementary School in Pittsburgh by stopping the gender-related lessons.

The 45-page filing obtained by Fox News names the Mt. Lebanon School District and school board as defendants as well as Megan Williams, the first-grade teacher.

"Defendant Williams is the mother of a transgender child who, like her students, is in the first grade," the concerned mothers wrote in the filing. "While that may give her unique perspectives and views on gender dysphoria and transgender transitioning, it does not give her the right to impose those views on a captive audience of six and seven-year-old children."

The case also alleges that Williams' "strident emphasis on race and racial justice has, arguably, had an opposite effect."

The teacher regularly wears Black Lives Matter clothing in the classroom as well, the parents claimed. 

In another instance, a student told Williams that she was not allowed to watch a video being shown in class. The teacher responded, "I will tell your mom that I told you it was ok to watch it."

Later in the year, the teacher talked to children about gender dysphoria and transitioning, the document states.

"In the course of doing so, she explained to her students that sometimes 'parents are wrong' and parents and doctors 'make mistakes' when they bring a child home from the hospital," she reportedly said.

Prior to this, Williams showed a video of "Jacob's New Dress" and told students about how her child wore an "Elsa dress" for Halloween.

The plaintiffs stated in the filing that the case is not about "public and political debate" on transgender issues.

"It is about personal, private parental rights to control how and when they introduce these topics to their very young children," the mothers wrote.

The case argues that the teacher violated the parents' civil rights on numerous occasions, including the parents' right to direct the education of their children and the right to free exercise of religion.

While Williams did not respond to Fox News' request for comment, district spokesperson Kristen James said that the complaint contains "allegations that are untrue or based on partial truths that mischaracterize events for sensational effect."