Demonstrators outside the Supreme Court carrying signs advocating for LGBTQ rights

Doe v. Madison Metropolitan School District

Status: Ongoing
Last Update: January 23, 2023

What's at Stake

In February 2020, several parents anonymously sued the Madison Metropolitan School District in Wisconsin state court. The parents claim that the school district’s guidance that seeks to provide support for transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive students violates parental rights and religious freedom by allowing students to use names and pronouns at school different from those they were assigned at birth, without providing parental notification absent a student’s consent. The ACLU and ACLU of Wisconsin intervened in the case on behalf of LGBTQ student groups at schools in the district to help defend the district’s guidance.

Summary

The trial court declined to allow the parents to sue without at least informing the court and counsel for the other parties to the lawsuit of their identities. The parents appealed that ruling and the intermediate appellate court affirmed the trial court. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear their further appeal seeking to proceed anonymously. The parents also are asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to require the school district, pending resolution of the case, to inform a student’s parents if a student requests to use a different name or pronouns than they were assigned at birth, even if the student does not consent to the disclosure.

UPDATE: The trial court dismissed the case on November 23, 2022 on the ground that the sole remaining plaintiff did not have any evidence that she predicts, anticipates, or will actually suffer any individual harm from the school district’s guidance. That plaintiff filed an appeal of that dismissal on November 28, 2022.

Press Releases

Support our on-going ligitation and work in the courts Donate now