ST. PAUL, Minn. – The parents of a transgender 5-year-old have agreed to a settlement with Nova Classical Academy, the school the child previously attended until his parents alleged he was being bullied.
Alpha News previously reported that the St. Paul Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity ruled that David and Hannah Edwards did have grounds on which to sue Nova Academy. The family alleged that their child was bullied for wearing pink shoes and the girl’s version of the public charter school’s uniform.
They demanded that the school implement transgender curriculum for all ages and add transgenderism into the curriculum of their anti-bullying efforts. The school board had previously concluded it was best to not introduce transgenderism at an early age, and had curriculum on the subject planned for students in 10th grade and above. Nova Academy also allowed parents the opportunity to opt their children out of such course work for reasons of religion or conscience.
Incensed that their changes were not made, the family pulled their child out of Nova Academy, and in March 2016 they filed a lawsuit against the school.
Nova Academy has now decided to meet the demands of parents who no longer have a child at the school, as well as payout $120,000, rather than fight a protracted legal battle.
One of the groups that took on the Edwards family’s legal representation, Gender Justice, put out a statement summarizing the terms of the settlement. Policy changes Nova Classical Academy is being forced into include:
- Students can no longer request to not be roommates with a particular student
- Nova Academy will remove any of its own policies regarding parents’ ability to opt their children out of “specific instruction regarding gender inclusion” for reasons of conscience or religion
- Parents will no longer be informed of their policy or legal right to opt their children out of the same instruction
- Nova Academy staff will receive gender inclusive training at least once every three years until 2025
- School uniforms typically assigned to one gender or the other are now available to both
- Public comment at school board meetings can now be unilaterally suppressed as the “school will ensure that board meetings and materials distributed are respectful and non-discriminatory and counter statements that could create a hostile environment.”
Gender Justice attorneys will receive $40,000 of the settlement, reports the Pioneer Press. The Edwards family’ will take a little of what is left, with the majority to be set up in a trust for their child to receive after he reaches adulthood.