The Jackson Local School District is facing a federal lawsuit that was filed Monday.
According to a press released by Alliance Defending Freedom, the attorneys filed the suit in federal court on behalf of Vivian Geraghty who says she is challenging the district’s “unconstitutional policy requiring teachers to personally participate in the ‘social transition’ of students who express a gender identity inconsistent with their sex by using the students’ preferred names and pronouns.”
Geraghty was an English teacher at Jackson Memorial Middle School but says she was forced to resign in August because she wanted to refrain from speaking in a way that would violate her religious beliefs.
According to the release, the controversy began when two students asked Geraghty to participate in their transition. This included using new names to reflect a new asserted gender identity for both students and using pronouns inconsistent with one student’s sex.
A school counselor allegedly sent an email to Geraghty and other teachers with instructions on how to participate in the students’ social transition.
The media release says that Geraghty then approached the school principal in an attempted to reach a solution. Her goal was to continue to “teach her class without personally affirming as true things that she believes are false and harmful.”
The release also alleges that the principal and his superior, the school district’s director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment, told Geraghty that “she would be required to put her beliefs aside as a public servant,” that her unwillingness to participate in a social transition in violation of her faith amounted to insubordination, and that continuing to teach consistent with her beliefs would “not work in a district like Jackson.”
Geraghty claims that the officials told her if she didn’t participate in the students’ social transition, “she must resign immediately.”
The plaintiff in the suit believes her First Amendment rights were violated when she was forced to resign.
Jackson Local responded to the lawsuit with the following statement:
“The Jackson Local School District is aware of this lawsuit. This district always will strive to provide a safe, comfortable environment for all of our nearly 6,000 students in which to learn. We have engaged legal counsel and we will have no further comment on pending litigation.”Jackson Local Schools