On Monday, June 5, Associate Counsel Cory Brewer of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) discussed Restoring American Education at a Fox Valley Initiative meeting held at FreedomProject Academy and attended by more than 50 people.
Brewer’s presentation focused on three things:
- WILL’s Restoring American Education initiative,
- Gender Indentity in Public Education, and
- WILL’s Current Litigation Efforts.
Restoring American Education
WILL’s Restoring American Education initiative aims to engage parents, school board members, and teachers with resources aimed at the specific needs of each group. Among those resources are model school board policies addressing such topics as good governance, parents rights, and transparency.
For example, Brewer noted, Wisconsin has a Human Growth and Development statute (118.019) that requires parental notice when such topics as sexuality; human papilloma virus (HPV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); social media; and alcohol and drug use. But when topics like these arise in math class or other classes not typically considered “health” class, the statute is often not followed.
Brewer noted Wisconsin law provides parents with the statutory right to opt-out of instruction relating to human growth and development WILL’s parent resources page includes a simple one-page opt-out form. WILL also offers a notification request form parents can submit to ask the school to inform them if the child is going to be taught “certain racially divisive concepts that may conflict with our fundamental beliefs.”
WILL’s resources for school boards include model policies formally establishing parents’ rights to review instructional materials (curriculum) and professional development materials (teacher training).
WILL’s resources for teachers include the group’s July 2022 From the Top report, which addresses the impact of college-level teacher indoctrination in the K-12 education system, and an Alternative Social-Studies Curricula for Schools.
Gender Indentity in Public Education
Brewer focused her comments on gender identity in public education on the Title IX and athletics rule changes proposed by the U.S. Department of Education on April 13. She emphasized that the changes have only been proposed – they have not yet gone into effect and schools are not bound by them. She said WILL specifically recommends schools not change their policies now, because the Department may amend the proposal after reviewing public comments. The public comment period is closed; you can read WILL’s comment, submitted May 15, here. WILL also offers a brief FAQ about the proposed rule changes.
Current Litigation Efforts
Among WILL’s current litigation efforts, Brewer said, are:
John Doe et al v. Madison Metropolitan School District – WILL is challenging guidance adopted by the Madison Metropolitan School District that prohibits parental notification when a student chooses to transition to a different gender identity at school.
B.F. v. Kettle Moraine School District – WILL represents two sets of Wisconsin parents who are suing the Kettle Moraine School District for a policy that facilitates and “affirms” a minor student’s gender transition at school, even over the parents’ objection.
Parents Protecting Our Children v. Eau Claire Area School District – America First Legal and WILL represent Parents Protecting Our Children, a local group of Eau Claire parents who have children in the Eau Claire Area School District. The school district has adopted and trained its staff on a gender identity policy that enables minor students to change their gender identity at school, by adopting a new name and pronouns, and using opposite-sex facilities without parental notice or consent.
Brewer mentioned the “Sun Prairie locker room incident,” noting the school district is demanding a payment of $11,000 before it will release any documents responding to WILL’s Freedom of Information Act request. She also pointed to a presentation about pronouns at UW Superior by Matt Walsh; you can find it online here.