School District Sued For Secretly Treating Girl Child As Boy

A Christian couple filed a lawsuit against the Rockford, Michigan, Public School District, complaining that teachers used a different name and male pronouns for their daughter who is autistic. According to Dan and Jennifer Mead, they were not aware that staff at East Rockford Middle School were referring to their 13-year-old daughter as a male from the beginning of last year’s fall.

The lawsuit states that the girl, identified as G.M. in the court documents, told a school counselor she identified as a boy. The school then began to treat the girl as a boy without even attempting to get the parent’s consent on their child’s gender and name change.

As written in the lawsuit, “The Meads were stunned when they discovered that the District had—without seeking their consent and while actively concealing information from them—begun to treat G.M. as a boy, referring to her with male pronouns and a masculine name at school.”

According to the complaint, the district went as far as changing G.M.’s school records to hide the fact that they were treating her as a boy from her parents.

The lawsuit stated, “As directed by the District’s policy, District employees—employees the Meads had trusted with sensitive information about G.M.’s mental health—deliberately changed G.M.’s school records to conceal the fact that the District was treating their daughter as a boy without their knowledge.”

The school district’s actions, the Meads said, not only violated their parental rights but also their religious beliefs.

It all started in January 2022 when G.M. was diagnosed of Autism Spectrum Disorder (without intellectual or language impairment), Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder. In May, one of the school’s counselors, Erin Cole, reportedly got a message from the young girl on a school’s computer program through which students can communicate with school employees.

“Hi Could you email my teachers and tell them to call me F[]?” G.M. reportedly said to the teacher asking to be called a common male name.

Cole did not inform either of G.M.’s parents even though she had the opportunity as she had reportedly spoken with Jennifer multiple times for the next few weeks until the school year ended.

According to the Meads, it took an employee forgetting to remove the masculine name and pronouns from G.M.’s school records for them to realize what had been going on. Even after they found out, the employee tried to remove the pronouns still, they said.
The parents have since withdrawn their daughter from the school district and opted for homeschooling as they sad that the district’s violations “destroyed [their] trust in the counselors, administrators, and other District employees with whom they had shared intimate details about G.M.’s and their lives.”

Rockford Public School District has not provided any tangible defense for its actions as the district Superintendent Steven Matthews said that the district had not completely read through the legal documents, per WOOD-TV.