Teachers encouraged sixth-graders to join LGBTQ club but to keep it a secret

Teachers encouraged sixth-graders to join LGBTQ club but to keep it a secret

Two Colorado families are suing their children's school district over allegations that teachers and administrators encouraged their daughters to join an LGBTQ club and keep the activities a 'secret' from them.

The activities of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) were not known to the parents and those who headed the club's meetings actively encouraged students to keep talks about polyamory, puberty blockers, transgenderism, gender identity, sexuality, suicide, and name and pronoun changes a secret from their parents.

Teachers also invited substitute teacher Kimberly Chambers, who is the executive director of the Supporting Pride Learning and Social Happenings (SPLASH) organization that 'seeks to educate school aged children on topics of sexuality and gender identity,' to talk at one of the GSA meetings, which Lee's sixth-grade daughter attended, according to the lawsuit.

Chambers reportedly 'told the children that if they are not completely comfortable in their bodies, that means that they are transgender,' while giving a talk to the school club on May 4, 2021.

The teacher also had children discuss what gender and sex they are attracted to and gave students 'LGBTQ paraphernalia such as toys, flags, and other swag' if they 'came out' as transgender.

The teacher told students that there was 'a higher likelihood of suicide by transgender youth,' but the Lee family said their daughter did not even fully understand what suicide was at the time.

Chambers also repeatedly told students it 'might not be safe to tell their parents what happened at the GSA meeting or to talk about transgender issues' and instead suggested they speak with her or other teachers. She offered students her phone number and told them to connect with her on Discord, so they could contact her at any time.

The Lees were excited that their 'shy' daughter was asked to get involved in school activities because she had not been given many opportunities to make friends, but they were alarmed to find out that upon returning home from the meeting she told them she 'would be transitioning, despite never having had any thoughts about transgenderism before the meeting'.

Their daughter has since said that she no longer desires to transition, but endured a 'months-long emotional decline of gender and sexuality confusion that required counseling and included suicidal thoughts,' according to the lawsuit.

The Jurich family is suing because their daughter was subject to a lot of the same treatment as the Lee's daughter, where students were told by WMS art teacher and staff sponsor of the school-sponsored GSA club, Jenna Riep, 'that if they did not like their bodies, they were most likely not the gender they were "assigned" at birth'.

In addition, Riep 'encouraged secrecy, confidentiality, and suspicion about whether her parents could be trusted with these discussions' and invited the Jurich's daughter to attend a meeting with SPLASH, the organization that Chambers was associated with.

Following the meeting, their daughter 'began to have her first suicidal thoughts' and started leaving notes for her parents about transgenderism and stated she was 'aromantic' and 'asexual'. In the fall of 2021, she started to question her gender identity.

'After her experiences at the GSA club her relations with her friends deteriorated, and she was not comfortable with the idea of potentially taking classes with Riep,' according to the lawsuit.

Their daughter's wellbeing 'underwent a significant decline' to the point to where she asked to be home-schooled.

She eventually attempted to take her own life by drinking bleach and has since 'verbalized that her disturbed emotional state began when she attended GSA at WMS'.