New Jersey father files suit against school district for allegedly keeping his daughter’s gender transition secret

A New Jersey father has filed a lawsuit against his daughter’s high school and its counselor after they allegedly socially transitioned his daughter without his consent or knowledge.


A New Jersey father has filed a lawsuit against his daughter’s high school and its counselor after they allegedly socially transitioned his daughter without his consent or knowledge.

Defendants include the Delaware Valley High School Board of Education and school counselor Ashley Miranda.

The lawsuit alleges the district violated the parental rights of the father, named John Doe in the suit, by socially transitioning his daughter, referred to as Jane, without his consent or knowledge.

According to the suit, Jane is a freshman with a documented diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Unspecified Mental Disorder (UMD). Jane has also been in therapy for depression, anxiety, and gender confusion since April 2022.

The lawsuit alleges that during an extracurricular school club called Students Advocating for Equality (“SAFE”) Jane expressed a desire to transition from female to male. 

Defendant Miranda, who is neither a state licensed doctor nor therapist, facilitated Jane’s social transition without asking any further questions, according to the lawsuit. 

Miranda notified all staff members, aside from two teachers who knew the Doe family personally, asking that Jane be referred to by her chosen male name, the suit says. 

Neither Jane’s father nor a therapist was notified of the change, which is in accordance with the district’s current “Transgender Students” policy, which stipulates: 

“The school district shall accept a student’s asserted gender identity; parental consent is not required. A student need not meet any threshold diagnosis or treatment requirements to have his or her gender identity recognized and respected by the school district, school, or school staff members. 

“In addition, a legal or court-ordered name change is not required. There is no affirmative duty for any school district staff member to notify a student’s parent of the student’s gender identity or expression.” 

Only months later did Jane’s father learn of her social transition, when another parent referred to Jane by a male name, the suit says. 

After learning the district “intentionally concealed” information regarding his daughter’s social and mental wellbeing, Doe requested home instruction for his daughter, until he could explain Jane’s personal and therapeutic history to the school. 

In a meeting with the school administration, Miranda admitted that she was unaware of Jane’s diagnoses or that she was seeing a professional therapist outside of school, the suit says. 

Despite Doe’s explicit denial of consent, the administration insisted on continuing to refer to Jane by a male name.  

After the meeting, Doe served the board a cease-and-desist letter asserting parental rights violations. 

“The [New Jersey Department of Education] Policy 5756 and Board Policy 5756 violate fundamental constitutional parental rights since they substitute the judgment of public officials for that of parents with respect to important aspects of their children’s education, including related to issues concerning mental health, welfare, and physical health, should social transitioning lead to the child’s desire to progress with medical transitioning, and, thus, are void and unenforceable,” the lawsuit states. 

“The NJDOE’s guidance violates 20 U.S.C. §3401(3), since the state’s school districts receive federal funding, and the guidance removes parents from having primary responsibility for the education of their children and places the primary responsibility for the education of children as to social transitioning with state and localities that do not necessarily support the parental role, but rather interfere with the parental role, as in Mr. Doe’s case,” the lawsuit continues.  

The lawsuit seeks to not only end laws and policies deemed as violating parental rights but also seeks damages against the school board and other district administrators. 

School superintendent McKinney said the district was unable to comment on the pending litigation. 

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and acting Commissioner of Education Angelica Allen McMillan are also named in the legal action.