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Appeals Court Blocks School District’s Policy Mandating ‘Respect’ for Gender Identity

Appeals Court Blocks School District’s Policy Mandating ‘Respect’ for Gender Identity

Violators were subject to ‘discipline by appropriate measures, which may include suspension and expulsion.’

A federal appeals court on Sept. 29 ordered a preliminary injunction blocking Linn-Mar Community School District’s transgender policy. The appeals court found the challengers were likely to succeed in their free speech challenge to the policy mandating “respect” for gender identity.

Parents Defending Education (PDE) brought the challenge and “work[s] to reclaim our schools from activists.”

“PDE is thrilled with the unanimous decision,” PDE Vice President Caroline Moore told Legal Insurrection. “Parents should rest easier and feel vindicated after the decision in this case.”

The parent members of PDE have children in the Linn-Mar Community School District, located in Iowa, and either feared the school district would punish their children for refusing “to ‘respect’ another student’s gender identity” or would secretly encourage their children to transition.

The preliminary injunction, granted Oct. 2, blocks enforcement of the policy as to its “prohibit[ing] an intentional or persistent refusal ‘to respect a student’s gender identity.'” The policy also required school officials to conceal a student’s transgender status from the student’s parents, but the Iowa legislature overrode that provision.

Violators were subject to “discipline by appropriate measures, which may include suspension and expulsion.”

‘Respect’ for gender identity

Lin-Mar argued that its policy did not violate the First Amendment because “bullying on the basis of gender is not protected speech within the school environment.” The appeals court, however, noted that just because “speech is merely offensive to some listener” does not deprive it of protection:

A school district cannot avoid the strictures of the First Amendment simply by defining certain speech as “bullying” or “harassment.” [One parent] alleges that her child wishes to engage in an “open exchange of ideas” and to express beliefs that others might find disagreeable or offensive. The proposed speech is “arguably affected with a constitutional interest.”

The appeals court found PDE was likely to succeed on its First Amendment challenge because of the “respect” policy’s vagueness and susceptibility to arbitrary enforcement, thus warranting a preliminary injunction. The appeals court did not order a preliminary injunction against the secrecy policy, citing an intervening change in the law rendering that provision unenforceable.

Concealing transgender status from parents

The policy also provided for a “Gender Support Plan” for transgender students, resulting in a meeting that the student’s parents were not entitled to attend without the student’s consent. The policy’s section on “Confidentiality” barred disclosure of “a student’s transgender status to . . . parents unless legally required to do so . . . or unless the student has authorized such disclosure.”

After Lin Mar enacted the policy, the Iowa legislature prohibited school officials from concealing a student’s transgender status, rendering moot the parents’ challenge on that point.


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UnCivilServant | October 6, 2023 at 9:07 am

Lin-Mar argued that its policy did not violate the First Amendment because “bullying on the basis of gender is not protected speech within the school environment.” The appeals court, however, noted that just because “speech is merely offensive to some listener” does not deprive it of protection

On the subject of bullying the first thing that came to mind is that the blocked policy is a godsend to bullies who could use it to have the school inflict punishment on their victims for them by claiming disrespect.

    nordic prince in reply to UnCivilServant. | October 6, 2023 at 11:11 am

    The whole anti-bullying thing has gone too far. The best way to deal with true bullies is the time-tested way: stand up to them, with fists if necessary.

    Crybullies have been using that tactic forever. Their mental agony and anguish is your fault for not permitting them to do what they want, particularly when they want you to behave in a way that benefits them and impinges on your own freedoms do do what you want. Logic has no place in their discussion; you are doing something *wrong* because it *offends* them and you *admit* to doing it which only *offends* them more and your refusal to modify your behavior in the way *they* want will only offend them more and they are willing to screech and scream along with their fellow minions until you grovel on your belly and apologize, promising to do what they want. Even that is not sufficient, because once you have ‘insulted’ the Woke, you shall forever wear that stain, and even the slightest move to express your own opinion instead of theirs will be punished.

    Once you have paid the Wokegeld, you will never be rid of the Woke.

      Ironclaw in reply to georgfelis. | October 6, 2023 at 11:32 pm

      That’s why you don’t apologize, you just beat the piss out of them and when they complain you beat the piss out of them again.

It’s past time to get serious with the trans community. First they claimed they wanted acceptance but this quickly changed into demands for equality that were really nothing more than demands for their dominance over everyone. Now they want the normalization of various perversions such as pedophilia. It is they who are destroying lives by demanding children’s transitioning (often without their parents knowledge) which results in life long, often devastating results.

    Joe-dallas in reply to Cleetus. | October 6, 2023 at 12:12 pm

    cleetus – I have a slightly different take on the Trans Movement

    Its more of an activists movement to encourage individuals with mental illnesses to transition and to silence any objection to the barbaric treatment of the mentally ill.

      Joe-dallas in reply to Joe-dallas. | October 6, 2023 at 4:03 pm

      Got a down vote for pointing out
      1 – the trans movement wants to encourage others suffering from a mental illness to trans
      2 – the trans movement wants to silence / censor critics of expressing any objection to the barbaric treatment of those suffering from a mental illness.

    Alexander Scipio in reply to Cleetus. | October 6, 2023 at 3:04 pm

    All – ALL – “equality” movements are about gaining superiority. This is as true for trannies as it is for blacks and feminists. If any “equality” movement believed in equality, no standards would need to, or me demanded to be changed. Women have to meet the physical requirements for the job that men have to meet, blacks would be measured on the same college entrance criteria as whites.

Vindicated and rest easy, yes. Never ever turn your backs on or trust these Dem affiliated school boards or anyone else in these matters. They may have lost this but will never admit defeat, only that they haven’t won yet.

    Paddy M in reply to Whitewall. | October 6, 2023 at 10:36 am

    The only way they’ll retreat is if they are held legally accountable. If they start facing the prospect of legal fees and time in jail, then most will reconsider their actions.

“You became tolerant of their degeneracy, only for them to become intolerant of your values. You pretended they were your equal, only for them to tell you that they were your superior.

There is no greater myth than the proposition of an amicable coexistence between opposing cultures. You can either conform to those who are wielding power, or you can take power back.” -@HBatakus

ps: and punish the evil doers.

As an Iowan, I am embarrassed at some of these schools. Parents are trying to reform and repair the damage that was done to schools before the pandemic. It takes time to tear down and build back the school boards.

Antifundamentalist | October 6, 2023 at 12:18 pm

Legally, the trans issue really does need to be classified as a Medical issue with regards to minors – and placed firmly in the hands of the child’s parents/guardians. The schools really should have no policy other than what is already in place with regards to how schools handle other mental healt/medical issues. Which generally means it isn’t treated unless the parents have arranged for it with back-up from the child’s medical team.

    Transsexualism is a mental health issue that enablers believe can be addressed by drastically altering the physical body of the transsexual. Don’t expect logic from a community that supports the disfigurement of the mentally ill as a therapy for their mental illness.

Ha! Demand respect? Sod off, which come to think of the context and who this is directed towards may not even be an insult. Respect is earned and maintained by individual merit, accomplishment and competence on a consistent basis. Demanding respect is for losers who haven’t earned it. Probably b/c they never will and they know it.

‘I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says….like dumb….I’m smart and I want respect!’
Fredo Corleone

E Howard Hunt | October 6, 2023 at 1:34 pm

Mandating respect for transgenders really takes balls.

The vile Dumb-o-crats prefer to use the use the U.S. Constitution as their toilet paper, rather than Charmin.

Alexander Scipio | October 6, 2023 at 2:58 pm

So now we need courts to order schools NOT to demand kids lie and respect and accept lies? Gee – what kinda future leaders are we raising if we demand that lies become the currency of social intercourse?