Arizona mom alleges school officials helped her daughter secretly transition to male

An Arizona mother has joined a lawsuit against Mesa Public Schools, claiming school officials actively sought to deceive her when they helped her daughter “socially transition” to male without…

An Arizona mother has joined a lawsuit against Mesa Public Schools, claiming school officials actively sought to deceive her when they helped her daughter “socially transition” to male without her knowledge.

The mother, identified only as Jane Doe, joins Governing MPS Board member Rachel Walden as another plaintiff in the case. America First Legal (AFL), the nonprofit that filed the original suit in November, announced the amended filing Feb. 13.

In the amended filing, Doe claims her daughter, named “Megan Doe” in the suit, had been going by the name “Michael Doe” for months without her knowledge. She only found out when one of Megan’s friends mistakenly called her “Michael.”

Caught off guard by the mistake, Jane checked recent school programs only to find that, indeed, her daughter had recently been listed as Michael, which she hadn’t noticed before.

Next, she says she met with the principal to discuss the issue. During the meeting, Doe says not only did the principal confirm her daughter’s social transition, but also the school’s role in helping the child hide it from her.

“The principal admitted that school personnel intentionally had not changed Megan’s name in the [Synergy] system to avoid any notification being sent to Jane,” the suit claims. “And, that there were no plans to change Megan’s name in the system.

“The principal told Jane that even if Jane had asked to be notified about any name changes, pronoun changes, or other choices related to a transgender identity by her child, it was official MPS policy not to tell parents and that school personnel would not notify Jane about any further developments related to these issues.” 

When she asked for additional details that might shed light on when her daughter’s transition began, and exactly how long the school actively worked to hide this fact from her, she says she was refused. 

Making the school’s actions look all the more egregious, once Jane knew about her daughter’s struggles, she reports she was able to give her the proper love and support, including therapy. And, after only a month, Megan’s gender issues were resolved and she’s presenting herself as female again – indicating that months of Megan’s struggles might have been avoided if her parents hadn’t been left in the dark.  

AFL alleges the school had adopted a policy requiring a support plan for students who express the desire to socially transition at school, and that the plan allows students to request the school conceal it from their parents.  

What’s more, according to the filing a public records request by a concerned community member led to the discovery that the school’s counselor, Emily Wulff, also instructed staff to expressly avoid revealing students’ transitions to parents against the children’s wishes. 

“The main takeaways would be to make sure when contacting home to use their preferred name [for] home,” Wulff emailed staff. “For example, if I have a student that goes by Emily and she/her pronouns that I need to call home for, and in their plan, it says to use their birth name and biological pronouns home, [be] sure you do not out the student by using their preferred name and pronouns they use at school.” 

She even allegedly directed staff to create and maintain a “parent concealment cheat sheet” titled “Preferred Pronouns,” which would presumably be used to make the concealment easier for teachers. 

Ultimately, AFL’s complaint says MPS’s policies violate state law. 

“Arizona’s Parents Bill of Rights … makes it illegal for government employees ‘to encourage or coerce’ a child ‘to withhold information from the child’s parent,’” AFL declares in a press release, adding that the Parents’ Bill of Rights vests parents with the right to direct the education, upbringing, moral or religious training, and health care decisions of their children. 

“Arizona law also prohibits school employees from providing sex education or having any other type of discussion with students ‘regarding sexuality’ without parental permission. Any policy that involves school officials helping students to transition their gender without their parent’s knowledge also violates these common-sense parental notification laws.” 

The district has reportedly denied its staff has taken part in any secret gender transitions.   

However, AFL says evidence in the case contradicts the district’s denials. 

“Mesa Public Schools Superintendent Andi Fourlis has consistently denied that school district employees are helping to gender-transition students without their parents’ knowledge,” said AFL Senior Legal Counsel James Rogers. “The evidence strongly suggests otherwise. No parent should have to go through what Jane and Megan Doe did. AFL is helping to shine a spotlight on transgender policies that MPS has worked hard to hide from the public. There’s nowhere for them to hide any longer. AFL will proudly continue to fight for parents’ rights in Arizona and across the county.”