(LifeSiteNews) – A California mother has obtained a $100,000 settlement against a school district for “socially transitioning” her daughter without her knowledge or consent, albeit without the district admitting fault with the offending teachers’ actions.
In 2021, LifeSiteNews reported on the story of Jessica Konen, whose then-12-year-old daughter was coaxed by two teachers at Buena Vista Middle School into believing she was not a girl but rather a “transgender boy” and, with the support of administrators, changed her name and pronouns.
“My child almost lost her life. They didn’t tell me that my child was suicidal,” Konen excoriated teachers Kelly Baraki and Lori Caldeira at a school board meeting at the time, along with the administrators who enabled them. “You allowed these teachers to open their classrooms teaching predatorial information to a young child, my child, who doesn’t even know how to comprehend it all.”
A few days later, police officers appeared at Konen’s door, saying a complaint had been made to Child Protective Services and asking if her children wanted to be removed from the home. The complaint was dropped, but the incident “made me feel like a monster,” Konen said, and made her fear losing her children if she continued to question the school’s practices.
She later sued, however, and now Fox News reports that the suit has ended with Spreckels Union School District agreeing to a settlement in which it pays Konen $100,000 without admitting fault.
“We definitely are going to be at peace and be able to try to move on from this,” Konen said. “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. Just be active in your kid’s lives and don’t be scared to speak up.”
She added, however, that just because her specific case is over, that doesn’t mean she’s done with the broader issue of parental rights versus transgender ideology.
“They need to understand their place, and they need to stay in their place,” Konen told Fox. “And schools nowadays, they’re awful. So, I’m going to fight this fight and keep fighting this fight. I am not going to allow this to keep happening to children. I feel that the fight, it has to continue.”
The Center for American Liberty, which represented Konen, called the settlement a “huge win for Jessica and Alicia, and it’s also a win for parents across the country […] Parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children. Parental Secrecy policies, as employed by the Spreckels Union School District and by schools across the country, unconstitutionally rob parents of that right.”
Evidence shows that “affirming” gender confusion carries serious harms, especially when done with impressionable children who cannot fully grasp the long-term ramifications of the decisions being pushed on them.
Studies find that more than 80% of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence, and that even full “reassignment” surgery often fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide — and may even exacerbate it, including by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.
The danger of keeping parents in the dark about such situations is grimly illustrated in the story of Yaeli Martinez, a 19-year-old to whom “gender transitioning” was touted as a possible cure for her depression in high school, supported by a high school counselor who withheld what she was going through from her mother. The troubled girl killed herself after trying to live as a man for three years.