A law firm representing the Sun Prairie School District charged the district more than $2,700 to write and send a cease-and-desist letter to a local mother, demanding that she stop her “persistent questioning of District curriculum” after she emailed Creekside Elementary School Principal Kyle Walsh concerns about a book on transgender issues that he recorded himself reading to elementary school students.
In February, WRN reported that the letter demanded the parent never suggest to Walsh in emails or other communication that reading the book is “disturbing.” The letter says its second purpose “is to address your persistent questioning of District curriculum and to direct you to cease and desist in any manner other than to comply with School District policy.”
Walsh is the principal who recently caused controversy for writing in an email to parents that “white privilege is an unlimited ATM, it never runs out.”
Axley Attorneys, a Madison law firm, sent the letter on Feb. 20, 2023, to parent Kris Ganske, a well-known anti-bullying advocate in the district and mother of a first grader. The four-page letter is signed by attorney Lori M. Lubinsky, who wrote that she represents the Sun Prairie Area School District.
Through an open records request, WRN obtained Axley Attorneys’ invoice summary for fees related to the cease & desist letter. The invoice, dated March 20, shows the Sun Prairie School District was billed in the amount of $2,781.60.
The invoice detailed multiple reviews, phone calls, drafts, reviews, zoom calls and emails with the “client.” In total, Attorney Lori Lubinsky charged the school district for 10.3 hours of work at a rate of $270/hour.
You can see the full invoice here:
Ganske told Wisconsin Right Now in February that her central concern was that the book was being read to first graders without more involvement from parents. Lubinsky previously represented the Wauwatosa School District in an open records lawsuit relating to its “gender identity curriculum.” She also represented DePere School District against a challenge to its COVID policies.
The Sun Prairie Star previously named the parent, Ganske, one of its “20 to watch in 2020,” writing, “Star readers recall that Ganske was among those who publicly took on the Sun Prairie School Board in order to get the board to do something about pervasive reports of bullying in Sun Prairie Area School District public schools.”
The book in question is called “When Aidan Became a Brother,” according to an email Walsh sent Creekside staff, which was obtained by Wisconsin Right Now. The 2019 picture book “celebrates the changes in a transgender boy’s life, from his initial coming-out to becoming a big brother,” according to its Amazon page.
“The main thing I have to say about this book being read to first graders…My issue is not the content of the book; my issues and concerns come from the conversations that may be had after the book,” Ganske, the mother of an LGBT child herself, told WRN.
“The questions, concerns and confusions a young child may have,” Ganske added, saying she believes parents were not prepared enough.
Ganske said she asked that “more controversial lessons be transparent.”
The parent expressed her concerns in multiple lengthy emails to Walsh. In an email to Ganske in early February, Walsh did note that we “can certainly find time for you to meet with your child’s teacher in advance of any concerning content or topics, and you can decide if you’d like (her son) to be removed from the learning.”