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HomeBreaking NewsEau Claire Schools Sued Over Transition Statement to Kids

Eau Claire Schools Sued Over Transition Statement to Kids

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There are new questions for school leaders in Eau Claire after a parent requested to see the statement read to her kids about a teacher’s transition from a man to a woman.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on Tuesday said it is asking a judge to force the Eau Claire Area School District to hand over the statement read to students on the second to last day of school.

“All orchestra students at Northstar Middle School were required to report to the orchestra room during homeroom. Once there, they found orchestra teacher Jacob Puccio, a school counselor, and the District’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion director, Dang Yang,” WILL said in announcing its lawsuit against the district. “Students were told that Puccio would be undergoing a gender transition from male to female. In addition, a scripted statement was read to multiple classes of elementary and high school music students in the district, including North High School and at least three elementary schools (Sam Davey Elementary, Locust Lane Elementary, and Northwoods Elementary). The statement was crafted by the District specifically to ensure that students received information in a particular way, but to date, parents have no details about what their children were told.”

One of those parents, Leah Buchman, said she doesn’t like being in the dark about this kind of a conversation.

“All I am asking is for the school district to provide what was told to my children and their peers in the classroom,” Buchman explained. “As a parent, it’s my responsibility to help my kids understand all that life throws their way, and I do not understand why it has taken the school district so long to update parents.”

WILL’s lead attorney on the case, Cory Brewer, told The Center Square the issue here is not the teacher’s transition.

“Public schools are government entities subject to open records laws. A scripted statement read aloud to students in multiple classes is exactly the kind of record that should be disclosed to the public” Brewer explained.

Eau Claire Schools said it cannot release the statement because there’s now an internal investigation into the announcement.

“After the events of June 5 and the inquiries received from certain parents, it was decided that there should be a formal investigation of the events of that day (and the planning that preceded that day) to determine if there were any missteps under school district policy,” Eau Claire Schools said in a statement. “With the summer season upon us, the investigation has encountered some issues with witness/employee availability. Work on the investigation is ongoing.”

But Brewer said there was no investigation when the statement was written or delivered to the kids.

“School districts shouldn’t be hiding anything from parents, but that is how the District chose to handle this,” Brewer added.

This is not the first time WILL has gone to court against Eau Claire’s school district over a case that deals with the school’s trans policy.

WILL sued the ECASD last year over the district’s policy of not telling parents about their children’s gender transition in school.

Ben Yount - The Center Square
The Center Square contributor
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