Mother sues teachers for brainwashing student to identify as transgender

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Mother sues teachers for brainwashing student to identify as transgender

A California mother said her daughter’s teachers are “predatory” and “disgusting” after she filed a lawsuit against them and school district officials that alleged two teachers brainwashed her preteen to secretly change her gender. 

Jessica Konen filed the suit last week against teachers Lori Caldiera, Kelly Baraki and the Spreckels Union School District for allegedly manipulating her seventh-grade daughter to change her gender identity under the guise of the district’s “Parental Secret Policy” where teachers could counsel students about their gender confusion and assert a new gender identity without notifying parents.

In one of her shocking claims, Konen said the two teachers actively sought out students who they thought were struggling with their identities and invited them to the school’s Equality Club.

According to the suit, “At the Equality Club meetings, Ms.Caldiera and Ms.Baraki would coach students on LGBT+ identities, such as homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism, gender non-conformity, etc., and how to express those identities.

Parents against school teaching
Thomas Perry spoke on behalf of his mother who is a teacher at the Spreckels Union School District board meeting.
AP

“Ms.Caldiera and Ms.Baraki would instruct students to research a particular topic and then have follow up discussions with the student about that research. Sometimes, Ms.Caldiera and Ms.Baraki would introduce and push LGBT+ identities on students that the students resisted.”

The lawsuit also claims the two teachers tried to hide the students’ participation in the club by not keeping track of attendance at the club meetings, which were usually held during lunch. 

Konen is suing for infliction of emotional distress, negligence, civil conspiracy and violating her federal and constitutional statutory rights to direct her daughter’s upbringing by “manipulating” the preteen to believe she was transgender.

“My daughter, I love her, and she deserves justice,” Konen told Fox New’s Laura Ingraham in an interview.

“My family’s already gone through so much and nobody else needs to go through this. … You know, you wouldn’t expect a teacher to be predatorial towards a child — that … they’re supposed to be trusted.  They stepped out of their line. In seventh grade you find out that there’s secrets, there’s lies. Their tactics are disgusting. I feel, as a mom, disturbed by this because it is my right to parent her and they took that right away from me.”

The teachers had a meeting with Konen and the child to discuss gender identity. Konen said she tried to support her daughter and gave the school permission to use a boy’s name for attendance. 

However, Konen said she decided to take action after leaked audio from the California Teachers Association’s LGBTQ+ conference allegedly showed Baraki and Caldiera discussing their methods of running the club without parents’ knowledge of their kids’ participation. 

Teachers in board meeting
The school board members listen to parents and community members at the meeting, as they discuss the gender identity claim.
AP

“When we were doing our virtual learning — we totally stalked what they were doing on Google, when they weren’t doing school work,” Baraki said in the recording, according to the Associated Press. “One of them was googling ‘Trans Day of Visibility.’ And we’re like, ‘Check.’ We’re going to invite that kid when we get back on campus.”

Caldiera has since said the quotes were taken out of context and the stalking comment was only a joke.  Both she and Baraki have been placed on administrative leave since November. 

Officials with the California Teachers Association have criticized the group Center for American Liberty, which is backing Konen in her suit. 

“We are concerned about a political climate right now in which outside political forces fuel chaos and misinformation and seek to divide parents, educators and school communities for their own political gain, which is evident in this complaint,” spokeswoman Lisa Gardiner said. “The Center for American Liberty is concerned with pushing its own political agenda through litigation and has filed multiple lawsuits against various school districts and communities.”

Harmeet K. Dhillon, who is representing Konan and is the founder of the Center for American Liberty, said Konan’s daughter is back to identifying as a girl after being away from teachers who allegedly “brainwashed” the student.  

“Jessica is very supportive of whatever her daughter wants to be and decides,” Dhillon said in an interview with Ingraham. “It is not for these teachers to try predatorily assume. …  What is interesting about this is that this happened before COVID. So when COVID started and remote learning started, eventually the daughter began to change back into her original identity because she wasn’t under the constant grooming influence of these weird teachers. Secondly, the teachers were also monitoring– using the software that they use for remote learning– what children were looking up, and then using that to try to put more kids into this secret channel.”

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