A California mother is pursuing legal action after her seventh-grade daughter was subjected to “predatory” and “grooming” behavior by teachers and school administrators in order to brainwash her into identifying as transgender.
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The Center for American Liberty headed by Harmeet K. Dhillon filed a lawsuit last week on behalf of the mother, Jessica Konen, contending that her rights under California law were violated when teachers Kelly Bakari and Lori Caldiera along with the Spreckels Union School District in Monterey County secretly invited Konen’s daughter to an “equality club” and coached her to take on a different gender identity.
The claim alleges that the school district and teachers kept club participation secret, encouraged children to lie to their families, and inflicted emotional distress upon Konen and her daughter.
“My family’s already gone through so much and nobody else needs to go through this,” Konen told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham during an interview, adding that “you wouldn’t expect a teacher to be predatorial towards a child.”
“They stepped out of their line. In seventh grade you find out that there’s secrets, there’s lies. Their tactics are disgusting,” she continued. “I feel, as a mom, disturbed by this because it is my right to parent [my daughter] and they took that right away from me.”
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According to the lawsuit, Caldiera and Bakari, who operate the “Buena Vista Equality Club” at the school, engaged in “predatory” behavior as they recruited children, including Konen’s daughter, whom they “had identified as potential LGBT+ students” based on comments made by or about the students as well as “their own observations.”
The teachers then allegedly instructed their recruits about “LGBT+ identities, such as homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism, gender non-conformity, etc.,” urging students to take on different gender identities.
“Ms. Caldiera and Ms. Baraki would instruct students to research a particular topic and then have follow up discussions with the student about that research,” the lawsuit continued, asserting that occasionally the teachers “would introduce and push LGBT+ identities on students that the students resisted.”
Baraki and Caldiera knew that some parents would not want their children to participate in such a group or begin experimenting with divergent sexual identities, so they reportedly told children not to tell their parents about “their new LGBT+ identities and expression” or the club.
According to the lawsuit the teachers also didn’t keep records or rosters of club attendance “so that parents could not discover their children’s participation in the club or new LGBT+ identities,” and held meetings during lunch rather than after school “so that students, who were too young to drive, could better hide their participation.”
The lawsuit specifically contends that Konen was deliberately kept in the dark by the teachers, about what was going on with her daughter, with teachers allegedly referring to the child by her birth name and “corresponding pronouns” while in the mother’s presence but then switching to use a “new name and pronouns” when Konen was not present.
“[T]his behavior constitutes a violation of Claimants’ rights under California law,” the Center for American Liberty stated.
The New York Post reported that Konen ”decided to take action after leaked audio from the California Teachers Association’s LGBTQ+ conference allegedly showed Baraki and Caldiera discussing their methods of running the club without parents’ knowledge of their kids’ participation.”
“When we were doing our virtual learning — we totally stalked what they were doing on Google, when they weren’t doing school work,” Baraki said in the recording, according to the Associated Press. “One of them was googling ‘Trans Day of Visibility.’ And we’re like, ‘Check.’ We’re going to invite that kid when we get back on campus.”
Caldiera has subsequently claimed that the comment was taken out of context.
The Post reported that Spreckels Union Elementary School District Superintendent Eric Tarallo refused to give a comment about the lawsuit filed against his district but informed that the teachers named in the lawsuit are on administrative leave and will remain so until an independent investigation is conducted.
Caldiera and Baraki have both been on leave since November.
“The claim submitted by Ms. Konen will be addressed in the appropriate manner within the judicial system,” Tarallo told the Post. “We are currently reviewing and updating our policies and procedures regarding student clubs and will bring those draft policies to the Board of Education as soon as feasible.”
For its part, the Center for American Liberty has pointed out that the incidents that occurred in the “Buena Vista Equality Club” are likely not exclusive to just one Monterey County school district.
“Undoubtedly, Jessica’s [case] is not the only one of its kind,” the law group said in a statement. “The California Department of Education encourages schools to keep secrets from parents much like the Spreckels Union School District did with Jessica.”
“This usurpation of parental rights cannot go on unchecked,” the legal organization added.
Meanwhile, Konen’s daughter has since reportedly returned to her former self and re-adopted her own name and embraced her biological sex after being removed from the influence of the teachers and entering eighth grade.
“My daughter, I love her, and she deserves justice,” Konen told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.