Parents Defending Education v. Linn-Mar Community School District

November 10, 2022

Summary of facts: A public school district near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has a policy that authorizes children to make fundamentally important decisions concerning their gender identity, such as changing their name, pronouns, and participation in school activities, without any parental involvement. The policy also prohibits school officials from discussing the students’ decisions with their parents without their permission. It also punishes students for expressing their sincerely held beliefs about sex and gender, including using an “incorrect” pronoun.

RFI’s position: The school district’s policy violates parents’ right under the Free Exercise Clause to direct their children’s education and their ability to impart their sincere religious beliefs without government interference. The policy substantially burdens the sincerely held religious beliefs of many different faith groups, including Orthodox Jewish Americans, Hindu Americans, and Muslim Americans and will disproportionately impact families from minority faith backgrounds.

Read the amicus brief here.