A mother has filed a lawsuit against the Great Salt Bay Community School Board and Superintendent Lynsey Johnston in the United States District Court for the District of Maine, claiming that the school violated her constitutionally protected parental rights when a social worker provided her 13-year-old daughter with a breast binder and allowed her to secretly identify as the opposite sex without parental knowledge or consent.
The Goldwater Institute, a conservative and libertarian public policy think-tank, and nonprofit organization filed the lawsuit on behalf of the mother, Amber Lavigne. According to the suit, Lavigne’s daughter, referred to as A.B., began attending Great Salt Bay Community School in September 2019. In December 2022, while assisting her daughter with cleaning her room, the plaintiff discovered a chest binder among her daughter’s belongings.
Breast binders are often used by girls who identify as male to flatten their breasts. The potential side effects of wearing a binder include breathing difficulties, breast tissue damage, and cracked ribs. When she asked A.B. where the binder had come from, the plaintiff’s daughter said she had received it from Samuel Roy, a social worker at the school. The school had not informed Lavigne that her daughter had been provided with a chest binder, according to the suit.
In addition to the chest binder, the plaintiff discovered that the school had been referring to A.B. by a different name instead of the one on her birth certificate and using pronouns not associated with A.B.’s biological sex. The mother met with the school superintendent and principal, who are both named in the suit, on Dec. 5, 2022. While both school officials appeared to express sympathy for Lavigne, the lawsuit states that during a separate meeting two days late, Superintendent Johnston claimed that the school had not violated any policy.
Following Lavigne’s decision to withdraw her daughter from school and begin homeschooling her, the plaintiff received a visit from the Maine Office of Child and Family Services on Dec. 12, 2022. The agents claimed they had received a tip that Lavigne was emotionally abusive toward A.B. With no evidence to support the claim, however, the investigation was ended the following month.
During a Great Salt Bay School Board Meeting on Dec. 14, 2022, Lavigne spoke publicly about what had transpired between her and the school. She stated that the school had violated her trust by “concealing vitally important information from her respecting her [daughter’s] psychosexual development and said the ‘decisions made [by the school] drove a wedge between a child and her parents.”
The Great Salt Bay Community School did not respond to The Christian Post’s request for comment. School Superintendent Lynsey Johnson appeared to address the mother’s allegations and defended the school’s actions in a December statement that has since been removed from the school’s webpage.
The superintendent said the school board’s “first priority is always to provide a safe, welcoming, and inclusive educational environment for all students and staff.” Johnson explained that the administration follows “specific policies and procedures” after receiving concerns from parents and students. The superintendent asserted that these policies align with state law, which ensures “equal access” to education and students’ privacy rights, regardless of age or gender identity.
The lawsuit, which is currently pending in the United States District Court for the District of Maine, seeks compensatory damages, including funds for attorney’s fees and costs, as well as a court order that would prohibit the school from withholding information from parents and allowing minors to pursue gender transition treatments without parental knowledge or consent.