Two parents in Woodburn, Oregon have reported that their 8-year-old son was held back from recess multiple times for one-on-one conversations about his gender identity – and they had no idea.
According to KPTV, the mother and father are now suing a school district for nearly a million dollars after they say a second-grade teacher singled out their son by asking him if he was transgender. The parents say the teacher had inappropriate conversations with the child at school without their permission.
“He feels different now, he feels confused,” the mother told the station, which didn’t reveal her identity or the father’s identity. “To hear your son say that … on a couch talking to a therapist, holding back tears — it’s very heartbreaking.”
The parents said the teacher asked their son if he thought he was a girl multiple times. They say the teacher held the boy back from recess several times to watch videos and read books about being transgender. The parents say the teacher got those materials from one of her transgender friends. The parents say they had no idea these conversations were taking place in April of 2018.
The mother says she found out when her son brought home one of the books from school.
A father in Woodburn says:
A teacher held one-on-one lessons with his 8-year-old son about the child’s gender identity.
The boy was held back from recess multiple times to discuss if he was transgender.
Dad had no idea…until his son brought home this book.
Story @ 10 #fox12 pic.twitter.com/FjIrWKkrG9
— Bonnie Silkman KPTV (@BonnieSilkman) May 9, 2019
“He came home Friday with the books in his backpack,” the mother said.
“He can be whatever he wants, I don’t care what he is. I just want him to be my happy son and I feel like she messed that up. It frustrates me that my son can be influenced that drastically, and nothing be done about it they just wanted to sweep it under the rug,” said the father.
The local outlet also noted, the parents say this all started when their son started using the staff restroom because of a stomach problem. They say their son was uncomfortable using the boy’s bathroom because of his medical condition. However, they believe the teacher assumed their son was uncomfortable because he was transgender.
“Still today, a year later, if he plays with my niece, he’s a girl in that moment… if he plays with my nephew, he’s a boy,” said the mother.
According to the parents the teacher still works at the school.
In May of 2018, the school sent out a letter. In part, it states that evidence was found that the teacher did pull the student from regular school activities, shared potentially controversial materials with the student and discussed gender identity without parents’ notification, according to Fox 12.
The lawsuit filed by the parents accuses the school district of negligence, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.