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Mother who said school officials hid her teen’s gender expression appeals judge’s dismissal of case

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine woman is appealing the dismissal of her lawsuit that accused school officials of encouraging her teen’s gender expression by providing a chest binder and using a new name and pronouns, without consulting her.

Amber Lavigne filed her notice of appeal to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, weeks after a federal judge in Maine ruled she failed to establish legal claims for which the school district could be held liable.

The lawsuit filed last year contended the mother had a “right to control and direct the care, custody, education, upbringing and healthcare decisions of her children,” and that Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta violated her constitutional right by keeping the student’s gender expression from parents.

Lavigne, who has since begun home-schooling her teen, contends school officials urged her then-13-year-old not to tell parents about the chest binder, in addition to the new name and pronouns.

The lawsuit is the latest to weigh a minor’s right to privacy when confiding in a mental health professional against a parent’s right to supervise their children’s health and education.