Fired teacher files $10 million federal lawsuit against Ludlow, MA school officials & school committee.
She was fired for informing parents that school was pushing a “transgender” identity on their child.
School officials claimed that informing parents was “conduct unbecoming a teacher.”
She had taught in that middle school for 23 years with a spotless record.
School was already being sued by the parents over child’s “gender” indoctrination.
December 4, 2023
Bonnie Manchester is a Christian middle school teacher who was fired from her job in 2021. Her “crime” was informing a father and mother that school officials were referring to their daughter as a boy and keeping it secret from them.
Bonnie has now filed a $10 million lawsuit in federal court against the town of Ludlow, Mass., the Ludlow School Committee, and current or former school employees who were part of the effort to fire her. The employee defendant list includes the current and former superintendents, the former Baird Middle School principal, a former school counselor, and the former (transgender) middle school librarian.
Much of this complicated story was exposed by MassResistance at the time it happened. We published a 13-part series that brought the entire Baird Middle School horror to national attention, including the secretive counseling, Bonnie’s firing for exposing it, and the school staff’s grooming of children with sexually explicit books.
Bonnie’s lawsuit was filed last month by experienced and aggressive local attorneys. Attorney Frank L. McNamara, Jr. was the United States Attorney for the Massachusetts District under the Reagan Administration. Ryan P. McLane specializes in civil rights and constitutional law. The lawsuit reveals even more shocking information than was previously known publicly.
School’s degenerate behavior going back several years
The sexualization of middle school children in the Ludlow schools goes back nearly a decade. Objections from parents and school staff were rejected or dismissed.
The 65-page lawsuit filing describes in detail how the “transgender” middle school librarian (a woman who dressed as a man) allegedly began grooming children with graphic sexual, homosexual, and transgender-themed books and other inappropriate material starting in 2014. The books were not only given to children directly in special “individual reading time” sessions, but also brought into the classrooms.
The lawsuit describes how the principal and superintendent refused to stop this practice, even after hearing complaints from several teachers and parents. When parents showed the books to the school committee, they refused to take action and even demeaned the parents.
Harassment by school staff against Bonnie for speaking out
As a teacher, Bonnie was shocked at the explicit sexual materials being given to the students and became fairly outspoken against them. She even went through the school’s official bureaucratic procedures to cite the books for removal. She also alerted parents, who brought the issue before the school committee.
As a result (as the lawsuit details), the librarian and other staff members conducted a long campaign of harassment and intimidation against Bonnie. This included abusive remarks, a phony “bullying and discrimination” complaint filed against her, and juvenile stunts such as teachers wearing a specific color of clothes to show “solidarity” against her.
Troubled eleven-year-old girl gets counseled into transgenderism by school staff
The lawsuit describes how the school counselor and others maliciously coached troubled children to take on “transgender” identities with opposite-sex names and pronouns.
In this particular case, the parents had sent a letter to the school specifically asking that the school staff not have any private conversations with their 11-year-old daughter, as she was already receiving professional help for mental health issues.
But the school counselor ignored the parents’ wishes and secretly persuaded the daughter that she was really “transgender” and encouraged her to use a male name and “pronouns. (The lawsuit notes that the counselor had few, if any, professional qualifications in child psychiatry and child development.)
Several weeks after the parents’ letter to the school, the troubled girl sent an email to several school staffers describing her new “gender” status and pronouns they may use when addressing her. The wording of the email strongly suggested it was mostly written by an adult, not an 11-year-old girl.
The following day, the counselor sent a follow-up email to several school staff members. The counselor told the staffers that the girl is requesting that they refer to her as “he” and use a boy’s name while she’s at school, but to use “she” with her real name when communicating with her parents.
Bonnie was on the list that received both emails. (These are included in the lawsuit.)
Bonnie tells the parents what is happening to their daughter
Several days after the emails, Bonnie happened to run into the girl’s father while in town. Bonnie knew the parents and the daughter quite well. The daughter had previously confided to Bonnie issues that had been troubling her. The parents had also requested Bonnie help their daughter with school projects.
Bonnie asked the father if he was aware of the emails that had been sent to the school staff. He was not, nor was the mother. They were both very upset that the school had violated their request. The parents immediately contacted the school demanding a meeting (which took place after some delay).
The school’s retaliation against Bonnie – and her firing
How did the school react? The superintendent directed the principal to conduct an “investigation” into Bonnie’s informing the parents about their 11-year-old daughter’s “gender transition.” The school officials claimed it was “confidential information” even though the email describing it had been sent out to multiple staffers.
Bonnie was placed on “administrative leave” and made to endure a number of hostile, unprofessional, and demeaning interrogations. Finally, a few months later, she was formally fired.
The phony – and illegal – reasons for Bonnie’s firing
Bonnie was fired for “conduct unbecoming a teacher.” Specifically, she was told that she had shared “sensitive information about a student’s expressed gender identity against the wishes of the student, the direction of the guidance counselor, and in contradiction to DESE [state Dept. of Education] guidance.”
As the lawsuit describes, the firing was problematic (and clearly illegal) on several levels:
- Bonnie did not violate any school board-approved policy, ordinance, or other objective standard. Nor did she violate any state law or regulation. The so-called “policy” the school attempts to cite was simply made up.
- The daughter and the parents had all previously requested Bonnie to be a conduit for information among them, and between them and the school.
- The school counselor did not instruct staff not to reveal this information to the parents. (The email simply claimed that the girl was making that request.) Nor did the counselor have the authority to instruct the staff in that manner.
- The state Dept. of Education guidance that the school officials cite only applies to children 14 years old and older – not an 11-year-old. In fact, that guidance requires the teacher to reveal the information to an 11-year-old’s parents. (And it is only “guidance,” not a law.)
- Moreover, the school had always encouraged communications between teachers, students, and their families. In fact, since 2013 the school had made communication with parents and families an important criterion of the teacher’s biennial performance evaluations. In the past when Bonnie informed parents on other issues, she was given accolades.
Bonnie Manchester had a spotless performance record throughout the 23 years she taught at the Baird Middle School in Ludlow. She was well liked by parents and students in the community. She was fired for doing the right thing, despite heavy pressure to “go along.” If only more teachers had those solid principles – and courage.
The people who push these explosive sexual topics to middle school children are, by any objective standard, simply evil. We need to see many more lawsuits like this.
MassResistance is proud to have supported Bonnie in this fight over the past several years! We’ll keep you informed on this lawsuit.
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