Ohio Parents Sue School District Over Teachers Allegedly Talking About Sexuality With Students in Secret

By Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.
January 23, 2023Updated: January 23, 2023

A school district in Ohio is facing a lawsuit from a group of parents who accuse it of allowing teachers to conduct private conversations on sexual attitudes and behaviors with students, which parents claim intrudes into the upbringing of their kids.

The lawsuit was filed by eight parents against the Hilliard School District at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on Jan. 16.

“The Defendant Hilliard School District is allowing activist teachers (as opposed to trained, supervised counselors) to specifically solicit from children as young as six-years old, private, intimate conversations about sexual behaviors, sexual attitudes, mental and psychological questions of the student and the student’s family, and private religious practices,” the lawsuit states.

“This is done, not only without parental consent and knowledge, but the teachers are taking specific actions to hide these conversations from parents. Although, perhaps well-intentioned, this is a recipe for indoctrination and child abuse.”

The lawsuit wants teachers to stop talking about gender and sexuality with children without parental consent. It also asks the court to order teachers to stop wearing LGBTQ badges containing QR codes that link to adult resources on sexual education and “coming out.”

Parental Rights, School Response

Hilliard is said to have given surveys to students asking them which pronouns they prefer at school and which pronouns they prefer that teachers use while talking to their parents. The lawsuit insists that such questionnaires violate parental rights to determine the upbringing of their children.

School officials claim that the survey is not a practice of the district, with Superintendent David Stewart making it clear that it does not support surveying students on such a topic. In September, the Hilliard Education Association provided LGBTQ badges to educators with the “I’m Here” slogan next to a Pride flag.

Hilliard School District has 21 days to respond to the lawsuit. Stewart said that they are committed to a “transparent and vigorous defense” against it, according to the Washington Examiner.

“We look forward to filing our response with the court. In the meantime, the lawsuit makes certain accusations which have little to do with the legal arguments, but about which we believe it is important to set the record straight—with facts,” he said.

Joshua Brown, an attorney representing the eight parents, is planning to file an amendment complaint, with more parents potentially joining the lawsuit.

Plaintiffs are not seeking monetary damages. Instead, they want the court to “firmly establish” the constitutional rights of parents in the upbringing of their children, the parents said in a news release, according to the Washington Examiner.

The Epoch Times has contacted Hilliard School District for comment.

Other Schools

In Pennsylvania, a Jan. 17 board meeting of the Upper Moreland School District proposed a policy on “Transgender and Gender Diverse Students” that covered diversity training for staff, pronoun usage, and bathroom preferences.

The policy advises teachers and staff members against divulging a child’s gender identity or pronoun usage to their parents unless required by law. Conversations with parents should solely be about school-related topics, it said.

In a statement to Fox, Erika Sanzi, director of outreach at the non-profit parent group Parents Defending Education, criticized the proposal.

“Parents give permission for the school to administer Tylenol or use their child’s photo on a flier,” she said. “It is a complete betrayal of trust for a school to withhold information and deliberately deceive parents about their child’s gender identity at school, a much more consequential issue than taking Tylenol.”

Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.