In a 2-1 ruling on Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit dismissed a case brought by three parents of students at Montgomery County Public Schools. The parents were opposed to the so-called "gender support plan," but the court ruled the plaintiffs did not have standing because they did not allege their children were transgender.
Author and columnist Bethany Mandel lives in Montgomery County.
"… This is a crazy county," Mandel tells AFN. "Like, so many crazy things happen [here]. And actually, they have another case in front of them right now about parents who are asking to opt their children out of LGBT books; and the school has refused them the option of opting their children out. I think that's a very clear violation."
Mandel found the ruling "interesting" in the case involving the gender support plan,
"[The court] said the parents did not have standing because the school had not transitioned them secretly," she explains. "So, I think that there is actually more hope in this ruling than people might think – because if someone went back to file another suit and they said The school district transitioned my child and kept it from me, I think the court might actually be open to that case.
"I think that the way they ruled in this circumstance was because there was nothing that these parents experienced at the hands of the school district that harmed their children in any way."
As a result, Mandel is hopeful sanity actually could prevail "if, God forbid, the school district did something like this without a parent's knowledge and consent and then parents brought a suit against the county, which they absolutely should do."
Mandel argues that moms and dads everywhere should be concerned.
"Everything that's happening in these states can trickle down to other states," she warns. "When I wrote my book, 'Stolen Youth,' I talked to people who said I thought we were safe because we lived in Idaho, but then the librarian handed my kid a book about transitioning when they were in second grade.
"There's no 'safe place' – and when people think that there is one, that's when they let their guard down … and that's when things happen."
Mandel adds that radical teachers are not only in blue states. "They might have less leeway in red states than they do in blue states, but … crazy things[are] happening all across this country – and people need to be paying attention and not getting complacent."