Mother sues school district that gave daughter a breast binder

A teenager sits next to a set of lockers in a hallway. | Getty Images

A mother has filed a lawsuit against a Maine school district, claiming that a social worker gave her 13-year-old daughter a breast binder and was allowed 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 Tuesday on behalf of the mother, Amber Lavigne, in the United States District Court for the District of Maine. 

The Great Salt Bay Community School Board and Superintendent Lynsey Johnston, among other school employees, are listed as defendants in the lawsuit. The suit contends that the defendants violated Lavigne’s constitutionally protected rights as a parent. 

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. 

“Plaintiff is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendant Roy gave A.B. the chest binder in his office and told A.B. that he was not going to tell A.B.’s parents about the chest binder, and A.B. need not do so either,” the suit reads. 

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. 

“Plaintiff is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendants withheld and concealed this information from her pursuant to a blanket policy, pattern, and practice of withholding and concealing information respecting ‘gender-affirming’ treatment of minor children from their parents,” the suit alleges. 

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. 

As CP previously reported, 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.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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