In what is considered a landmark victory for parental rights, a school district in California has settled for $100,000 with a mother who said her daughter was “socially transitioned” to a boy without consent or parental knowledge.
Jessica Konen’s daughter Alicia, who is 11 years old, was told by her school in Monterey County’s Spreckels Union School District, that she may be upset because she didn’t know who she “truly was inside.” After that, the school used male pronouns to refer to her, allowed her to use the boy’s bathroom and was “socially transitioned” away from her biological gender.
After Konen found out her daughter was identified as a male and socially transitioned without her knowledge or consent, she sued the district. Since then, her daughter has decided to re-identify as a girl, and the single mother vowed to continue fighting for parental rights after the settlement, which the Center for American Liberty represented.
“They need to understand their place, and they need to stay in their place. And schools nowadays they’re awful. So, I’m going to fight this fight and keep fighting this fight,” said Konen.
“I am not going to allow this to keep happening to children,” continued Konen. “I feel that the fight, it has to continue.”
The Spreckels Union School District has not admitted fault with the settlement. However, it is a significant moment amid the nationwide debate over parental rights related to school decisions that affect children.
“At its core, this case is about upholding the sacred bond between parents and their children,” said the Center for American Liberty Executive Director, Mark Trammell. “Parents have an inherent right to be involved in pivotal decisions concerning their children’s lives.”
Mom feels she ultimately received justice with the settlement
Konen said she avoided pronouns, calling her daughter by terms like “kiddo” and “sweetie” instead of making a possibly offensive comment. Their relationship was strained as a result, but she said they are now doing great and are excited to work together and help remove “the parental secrecy” from schools.
“I think it took a lot of guts for both of us to be able to open up publicly and explain what is happening,” said Konen. “Parents, be vigilant, you know, pay attention. Those gut feelings you have, they’re real. I feel like this just opened doors.”
In the end, Konen feels she received justice with the settlement and hopes other parents learn from her experiences.
“We definitely are going to be at peace and be able to try to move on from this. But parents, pay attention, ask the questions that are offered. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations because you don’t know what someone’s going through. You don’t know what they’re teaching in schools anymore,” said Konen. “Just be active in your kid’s lives and don’t be scared to speak up.”