A California school district has settled a lawsuit with a $100,000 payout after being accused of imposing radical gender ideas on a young pupil. The Spreckels Union School District in Monterey County paid $48,000 to the child’s mother, $48,000 to the child, and $4,000 for medical expenses. The agreement was reached in June and sanctioned by a federal judge in August, bringing the legal battle to a close.
The story began when mom Jessica Konen filed a lawsuit alleging that teachers at her 11-year-old daughter’s school had persuaded her that she was transgender. The child then began using new pronouns, and the school started the process of formally changing her name. She was also given access to the teachers’ non-gendered bathrooms. Her mother said the child, known only as AG, suffered “profound mental stress” when school staff told her she must not tell her mother about her new gender identity.
Two teachers, Lori Caldeira and Kelly Baraki, as well as Principal Katelyn Pagaran, were named as co-defendants in the suit. The teachers were organizers of the school’s gay-straight alliance club – UBU. All three have since resigned.
The plaintiffs were represented by high-profile Republican attorney Harmeet Dhillon, who said, “This win sends a clear message that parental rights must be respected.”
However, the ruling places the court at odds with Californian Governor Gavin Newsom and the state’s Attorney General Rob Bonta. In response to the decision of the Chino Valley School Board to implement a policy of notifying parents of any gender-related issue raised by their children, Bonta wrote a letter saying, “Disclosing that a student is transgender without the student’s permission may violate California’s antidiscrimination law by increasing the student’s vulnerability to harassment and may violate the student’s right to privacy.”
The Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the school board, and on September 6, San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Thomas S. Garza ruled in his favor and blocked the school’s notification policy.