Jessica Konen: Mom sues school district for manipulating daughter, 11, to secretly change gender
Konen said her daughter began returning to her 'old self' and now uses her given name after the school went remote during pandemic
A California mom, Jessica Konen filed a legal claim against Spreckels Union School District, claiming two teachers secretly manipulated her 11-year-old daughter into believing she was a transgender boy. In the claim, the mother states that the teachers taught her daughter how to bind her breasts to stop them from developing.
Konen alleges that teachers Lori Caldeira and Kelly Baraki, who ran the school's 'You Be You' equality club planted the seed that her daughter was bisexual in 6th grade. The mother claims that the school has kept her in the dark about her daughter's participation in the club, along with the 'gender support plan' created by the school administrators until a December 2019 meeting.
The legal claim states that Spreckels Union School District was responsible for 'extreme and outrageous conduct' that led the student on a path toward transitioning as a boy and drove a wedge between mother and child.
While Konen said her daughter had revealed she was bisexual, but she was unaware the 11-year-old was identifying as a boy until she was called to a meeting at the Buena Vista Middle School principal's office in December 2019. Konen said, "I literally was caught off guard. I was blindsided", as she wasn't told the purpose of the meeting. "I didn't even know what to feel like because I didn´t even know where it came from," said the mom after teacher broke the news.
Konen said she gave the school permission to use a boy's name for attendance purposes and tried to be supportive, but it was difficult. California mom says her daughter began returning to her 'old self' and now uses her given name after the school went remote during pandemic in March 2020.
However, it wasn't until this fall that Konen began questioning how her daughter changed her identity, after reading an article written by journalist Abigail Shrier. After learning the truth, Konen decided to take legal action against the school district.
Konen's Attorney Harmeet Dhillon told DailyMail, since filing the case, she's heard from parents across multiple states, who describe 'secretive trans grooming' by school officials - similar to what Konen has claimed. Dhillon said, "Parents are supposed to have access to all the educational records of their children".
She futher added, "The concept that the schools have a right to be running secret, don't-tell-your-parents clubs and don't-tell-your-parents programs and actively coaching children how to mutilate themselves, which is you know, not growing your breasts, is certainly not consistent with California law."
Eric Tarallo, Principal for Spreckels Union School District said the legal claim would be addressed in the judicial system and personnel policies prevented him from revealing if the teachers were back at school. He said the district was reviewing and updating policies on student clubs. The two teachers who were involved were placed on administrative leave in November, 2021.