A California school district has settled a lawsuit that alleged it encouraged a girl to “transition” her gender while concealing everything from her parents.
The Spreckels Union School District in Monterey County has agreed to pay out $100,000 in total. The girl’s mother, Jessica Konen, will receive $48,000, as will her daughter, Alicia. Another $4,000 will go towards medical expenses.
According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, the lawsuit alleges that teachers and administrators at Buena Vista Middle School “secretly convinced A.G.” that she was bisexual and, later, transgender. The girl suffered “profound mental stress” due to the actions of district employees, who encouraged her to keep the process a secret from her parents.
The lawsuit was brought after a story from author Abigail Shrier that described a presentation by two teachers at the Buena Vista Middle School. The teachers — who ran the school’s “gay, straight alliance” chapter — reportedly admitted that they “surveil students electronically to ferret out students who might be interested, after which the identified student is recruited to the club via a personal invitation.”
The presentation also taught students how to conceal details of the “transition” from parents. As a result of the story and subsequent lawsuit, the teachers have resigned from the group and have been suspended for a year.
California lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would charge parents who refuse to “affirm” their child’s identity with civil rights violations. Governor Gavin Newsom has endorsed the plan.