DAILY SIGNAL EXCLUSIVE: School Assigned Girl to Sleep With Boy Who Identifies as Trans Without Parental Notification

By Mary Margaret Olohan Published on December 5, 2023

FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL: An 11-year-old girl was assigned to share a bed with a male student who identifies as a transgender girl while on a cross-country school trip, according to a demand letter sent Monday. That girl’s parents are now calling upon the public school system to provide answers and clarification of its policies related to children who identify as transgender.

Represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, Joe and Serena Wailes are calling on the Colorado-based Jefferson County School Board and Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Tracy Dorland to clarify “whether JCPS will continue this practice of intentionally withholding information about rooming accommodations from parents like the Waileses, who object to their children rooming with a student of the opposite sex, regardless of the other student’s gender identity.”

“This practice renders it impossible for these parents to make informed decisions about their children’s privacy, upbringing, and participation in school-sponsored programs,” reads the demand letter, which was exclusively provided to The Daily Signal. “Additionally, our clients request information related to JB R-1 and the ability to opt out of this rooming policy for all future school trips.”

The Waileses describe how their daughter, who is in fifth grade, went on a JCPS-sponsored trip to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., in June 2023. JCPS had repeatedly told parents that the boys and girls on the trip would be roomed on different floors — and chaperones told the students that boys would not even be allowed to visit the girls’ floor, as well as vice versa, according to the letter.

Serena Wailes also went on the trip, though she was not a chaperone.

The Wailes’ 11-year-old daughter, who is identified in the letter as “D.W.,” was assigned to a room with three other students, according to the demand letter. Two of these students were girls from her school, and the third student was a boy who identified as a girl (named in the letter as “K.E.M.”) who went to a different school.

D.W. and K.E.M were told that they would share a bed, and that evening, when the students were in their room together, K.E.M. reportedly revealed to the girls that he is a boy who identified as a girl.

“We were definitely not aware of that before we went on the trip,” Serena Wailes told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. The mother shared that this young boy was presenting as a girl, wearing girls’ clothing, and had longer hair.

Uncomfortable at the thought of sharing both a room and her bed with a boy, D.W. snuck into the bathroom and called her mother. Then she went downstairs and met her mom in the lobby to discuss the matter.

Serena Wailes told The Daily Signal that her daughter was “terrified and really upset about the idea of sharing a bed with a biological boy — even though she had a good relationship with this other student.”

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“I was really upset,” Serena Wailes told The Daily Signal. “One, I was really upset that she was put in that situation at 11 years old — I don’t feel that is fair to put kids in that kind of situation—and two, that we were not even given the information that this was a possibility before the trip. The whole time they’re saying, ‘Girls on one floor, boys on another, they’re not going to be in each other’s rooms unless it is pre-approved.’ So we’re going through this whole process, not even recognizing that this is a possibility.”

Joe Wailes said that his wife called him from the hotel and filled him in about the situation.

“I felt a bit helpless,” he said. “I was 2,000 miles away. My daughter is scared in a bathroom trying to get herself out of a situation. It was a frustrating experience, and I just really felt like it was not a situation my daughter should be put in.”

Joe and Serena Wailes, photo courtesy of Alliance Defending Freedom.

School chaperones called one of the trip leaders, Principal Ryan Lucas, who called the boy’s parents, according to the letter: “K.E.M.’s parents confirmed their child’s transgender gender identity and that K.E.M. was to be in ‘stealth mode,’ meaning students on the trip would not know about their child’s transgender status.”

After a good deal of trouble, chaperones finally agreed to move the male student, with a different female student, to another room.

“Throughout the entire evening, K.E.M.’s privacy and feelings were always the primary concern of JCPS employees,” the letter said. “After JCPS disregarded D.W.’s privacy and the Waileses’ parental rights, JCPS then silenced D.W., thus infringing on her freedom of speech, when a JCPS teacher told the three girls that they were not allowed to tell anyone that K.E.M. was transgender, even though K.E.M. voluntarily chose to share this information.”

According to the demand letter, the school district’s policy is, “in most cases,” to room students based on the gender they identify as, rather than their sex.

The Wailes parents have two fourth-grade children registered to attend a trip to New York, Washington, and Philadelphia in 2024, and they emphasize in their letter that the district must clarify its policies for room assignments for students, as well as parental ability to opt their children out of sharing rooms with children of the opposite sex.

“They want to make sure that every parent knows that this is a possibility and can have the opportunity to opt out or make the best decision for their kid,” Kate Anderson, director of the Center for Parental Rights at Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Daily Signal. “But they also have two younger children that they want to make sure are not in the same situation that their older daughter was in.”

 

Copyright 2023 The Daily Signal

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