NEW YORK – The Skaneateles Central School district has issued a statement attributing the policy it followed regarding 12-year-old Greek-American Jane Vitsaxaki to respect for diversity, as well as the guidelines of the New York State Department of Education.
The local newspaper, the Daily Signal, reported on its website that Jane’s mother, Jennifer Vitsaxaki, filed a lawsuit against the Skaneateles Central School District and the Board of Education, alleging that they violated her constitutional rights as a parent as the school community appears to be treating her daughter socially as if she were a boy.
According to a local ABC television station a school representative emphasized that: “The Skaneateles Central School District cannot publicly discuss students or legal matters, but respects the diversity of all our students, and our main concern is to ensure that every child feels safe and supported within the school.”
In the lawsuit filed by the mother, supported by the organization Alliance Defending Freedom, Jennifer Vitsaxaki accuses the school counselors and the Skaneateles Central School District of calling her daughter by a boy’s name and changing her pronouns from female to neutral, without informing her of the policy they were following.
A representative of the Skaneateles Central School District responded – without confirming or denying the allegations – that the school follows specific guidelines of New York State, according to which the child decides its gender, without needing parental permission. The representative said, “[A] student is in charge of their gender transition… and may begin their transition at school without parent/guardian knowledge.” The news reports also informed that, “the guidance also notes that ‘only the student knows whether it is safe to share their identity with caregivers.’”
On the opposite side of the issue, Kate Anderson, a Counselor for the Alliance Defending Freedom, expressed her opposition to the fact that what is alleged in the lawsuit is evolving into a common policy for many schools, some of which explicitly codify it in writing.
“A national poll conducted last year found that 74% of registered voters feel schools should not be able to help students ‘change their gender identity’ without involving their parents,” the news report noted.