Maine Mom Sues School District That Enabled Her Daughter’s Secret Gender Transition

Michael J. Dillon | April 12, 2023

(The Lion) — A mother in Maine is suing her daughter’s school district after school staff secretly helped her daughter “transition” into a boy.

After finding a “chest binder” in her daughter’s room in December, Amber Lavigne was shocked to find out her daughter’s school counselor, Samuel Roy, had given it to her. When she contacted the school, Lavigne says administrators justified the counselor’s actions and told her school staff had already begun referring to her daughter by a different name and male pronouns.

All along, Lavigne claims, school staff encouraged her daughter to hide the “transition” from her parents while promising they would do the same.

As reported by The Lion in February, when her requests for answers were repeatedly stonewalled, the Goldwater Institute stepped in to defend Lavigne’s constitutional rights as a parent. At that time, the institute sent a letter to Board Chairman Samuel Belknap demanding an investigation into the counselor’s actions.

“The Supreme Court has consistently held that parents have a fundamental right to control and direct the education, upbringing, and healthcare decisions of their children,” Goldwater Staff Attorney Adam Shelton said in a press release in February. “But across the country, activist educators think they know better than parents.”

On Tuesday, Goldwater filed a federal lawsuit against the Great Salt Bay Community School Board on Lavigne’s behalf, saying the board “refused to engage” on “commonsense” reforms.

“In February, the Goldwater Institute demanded the school board investigate the counselor’s actions,” the institute said in a press release Wednesday. “[Goldwater also] called on the school to adopt a policy requiring it, at a minimum, to inform parents of any decision that affects their children’s mental health or physical wellbeing.”

“But the school board has not only refused to engage with Goldwater on these commonsense demands; it’s continued to release statements claiming that all policies and laws were followed,” the release continues. “Today, Goldwater filed suit in federal court against the school board, the counselor who gave Amber’s daughter the chest binder, and several other school officials for violating the U.S. Constitution by keeping Amber in the dark.”

Ultimately, Goldwater says it joined this fight to defend parents like Lavigne and countless others across the country from “activist educators” who want to “hide things” and “replace parents” as the children’s primary caregivers.