A parent from the Eau Claire Area School District in western Wisconsin has sued the school district. The lawsuit was filed after school officials revealed a teacher's gender transition to students, some as young as elementary age, without notifying parents.
The complainant, Leah Buchman, lodged the complaint on Monday, alleging the district violated open records law and excluded parents from knowing about the teacher's gender transition announcement, the Daily Wire reported.
According to the complaint, on June 5, one day before the school year's conclusion, all Northstar Middle School orchestra students were assembled in the orchestra room with their teacher, Jacob Puccio, a school counselor, and Dang Yang, the district's director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. During this gathering, the middle school students were informed that Puccio, their orchestra teacher, would be transitioning from male to female.
The lawsuit also alleges that students from three elementary schools and one high school in the district were read a scripted statement about the teacher's gender transition.
Buchman, a parent with children participating in the middle school orchestra and the high school band, initially requested a copy of the scripted statement but was denied. An attorney for the school district argued that the document couldn't be released due to an ongoing investigation into potential misconduct by a school employee in connection with the June 5 announcement.
Following the school's refusal to release the statement, Buchman filed her lawsuit with the support of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL). Both Buchman and her attorneys requested a copy of the statement under Wisconsin's open records law and were denied.
“All I am asking is for the school district to provide what was told to my children and their peers in the classroom. As a parent, it’s my responsibility to help my kids understand all that life throws their way, and I do not understand why it has taken the school district so long to update parents,” Buchman said.
“It’s ridiculous for a school district to refuse to produce a statement that was read out loud to dozens of minor students in several district classrooms. What was told to these kids should be readily accessible to parents,” said WILL attorney Cory Brewer.
Notably, the Eau Claire school district made headlines last year for instructing teachers to conceal students' gender identity transitions from their parents during a staff training held on February 25.