Project Description

Reynolds et al v. Talberg et al

Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against the Williamston Community School District and Six Board Members.

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The Great Lakes Justice Center has the privilege of representing parents and students from Williamston to protect their rights against the Williamston School District’s unconstitutional policies.

Full Case Name: REYNOLDS et al v. TALBERG et al
File No.: 1:18-cv-69
Court: Federal District Court, Western District of Michigan, Southern Division
Great Lakes Justice Center Role: Lead Counsel
Date: January 19, 2018


In the first lawsuit in the country based upon an individual’s personal religious identity protected by Obergefell v. Hodges, parents and students filed a civil rights lawsuit today in federal court against the Williamston Community School District and six School Board members. The lawsuit alleges numerous civil rights and constitutional violations arising from policies recently passed by the School Board. The Complaint sets out ten counts; it charges the School Board failed to comply with existing state and constitutional law and acted outside its legal authority.

Summary of Plaintiffs’ Complaint:

  • In violation of Obergefell v. Hodges, the policies deny students’ their right to privacy, dignity, and personal identity (pgs. 18 – 20 of the complaint).
  • The policies violate parents’ right to be notified of their children’s health decisions (pgs. 16 – 18).
  • Parents’ and students’ right to free speech is denied by these policies (pgs. 19 – 22).
  • Students are denied their constitutional right to receive a free public education (pgs. 25 – 26).
  • The policies violate Title IX by allowing boys to take spots on girls’ teams, or vice versa. (pgs. 27 – 28).
  • The policies violate the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act by creating a hostile and offensive environment (pgs. 30 – 32).
  • The School Board acted without legal authority by adding special non-discrimination categories explicitly rejected by the state legislature (pgs. 13 – 15).

Plaintiffs request the Federal Court declare the policies unconstitutional and issue preliminary and permanent injunctions against implementation of the policies.

David A. Kallman, Senior Counsel with the Great Lakes Justice Center and lead attorney on the case, remarked: “Common sense and common decency demand that biologically intact boys should not be showering with girls, should not be allowed to use girls’ bathroom and locker room facilities, or take a girl’s spot on an athletic team. Moreover, parents should not be denied critical health information about their children.”

William Wagner, President of the Great Lakes Justice Center added: “The Supreme Court in Obergefell recognized that all citizens have a right to privacy, dignity, and personal identity. These rights must be protected by the school district for all students.”

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As long as truth and justice are under attack, none of us can truly rest. Reach out to the Great Lakes Justice Center today and start making the difference.