Alerting parents to the presence of LGBTQ materials in school curriculum could violate the Minnesota Human Rights Act, an attorney with Gender Justice claimed.
In a Sahan Journal article from earlier this month, Christy Hall, a staff attorney with Gender Justice, said that schools could be sued for discrimination if they make it “too easy” for parents to opt their children out of LGBTQ content.
“It is a minefield,” Hall said. “The potential for being sued by the other side if you do the wrong thing is very real.”
Sahan Journal summarized Hall’s position this way: “[P]roviding parents with a list of LGBTQ content so they can opt their children out would violate the Minnesota Human Rights Act.”
Hall then warned that “losing a lawsuit under the Minnesota Human Rights Act is expensive.”
Gender Justice is a left-wing, LGBTQ advocacy organization which seeks “to create a world where everyone can thrive no matter their gender, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.”
On Dec. 19, the group put up a social media post on X saying: “Can parents simply tell schools they wish their children to ‘opt out’ of all materials deemed related to LGBTQ themes? That’s what a group of parents in a St. Louis Park school district are suggesting. But it’s complicated. And risky.”
Earlier this month, a group of Muslim parents in the St. Louis Park school district retained legal counsel from True North Legal and First Liberty Institute over concerns regarding LGBTQ content taught in elementary classes.
According to a press release from both law firms, the Muslim families were previously denied the option of opting their children out of the LGBTQ-themed content and still do not receive advance notice when these topics are discussed.
“We respect everyone. We’re just trying to protect our kids and we believe in our religion and we’re going to stick to that,” one of the parents said during a November school board meeting.
State law requires schools districts to “have a procedure for a parent, guardian, or an adult student … to review the content of the instructional materials to be provided to a minor child or to an adult student and, if the parent, guardian, or adult student objects to the content, to make reasonable arrangements with school personnel for alternative instruction.”
Renee Carlson, general counsel with True North Legal, said that Minnesota’s law regarding opting out of content is very broad.
“Many Minnesota students and parents of diverse backgrounds, including religious backgrounds, request alternative learning instruction each year for a variety of reasons,” Carlson told Alpha News. Further, Carlson explained that parents simply have to notify the school of their desire for their student to participate in alternative instruction.
“The law treats everyone equally. I don’t see how a court would reason that the law is discriminatory or runs afoul of the Minnesota Human Rights Act,” Carlson said.