Home US News Iowa school district settles gender “social transitioning” policy lawsuit with $20k payout

Iowa school district settles gender “social transitioning” policy lawsuit with $20k payout

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An Iowa school board has reached an agreement resolving a lawsuit over a now-rescinded district policy that allowed students to request a gender support plan to begin socially transitioning at school, without the permission of their parents.

Linn-Mar Community Schools’ insurance company will pay the plaintiffs, Parents Defending Education, $20,000, the Gazette newspaper in Cedar Rapids reported. The district announced the agreement Tuesday.

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Issues related to transgender students are contentious in many school districts. The American Federation of Teachers said candidates publicly endorsed by conservative groups such as Moms for Liberty and the 1776 Project lost about 70% of their races nationally in elections in November — a tally those groups disputed.

The Linn-Mar board in Marion adopted a policy in April 2022 that, among other things, gave students access to restrooms, locker rooms and changing areas that corresponded with their gender identity.

The policy became a national political topic in February 2023, drawing criticism from former Vice President Mike Pence, who later announced a bid for the Republican presidential nomination before dropping out in October.

“The strength of our nation is tied to the strength of our families, and we cannot stand idly by as the radical left attempts to indoctrinate our children behind parents’ backs,” Pence said in a statement provided to The Associated Press at the time.

As Iowa lawmakers debated limits on district transgender policies, the Linn-Mar board in March rescinded its policy. State law now prohibits districts from knowingly giving “false or misleading information to a parent or guardian of their child’s gender identity or intention to transition” to a gender other than the one listed on the birth certificate.

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Though three candidates supported by Moms for Liberty were defeated in the Linn-Mar district in November, the district’s statement said the board “believes the time and resources of the district are better spent looking forward than continuing to defend a lawsuit about a policy that has not been in effect for nearly a year.”

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