11-yr-old girl left ‘terrified’ after she was assigned to share bed with biological boy on school field trip

Parents and their “terrified” daughter are demanding answers on school policy that reportedly allowed a boy in “stealth mode” to be assigned to sleep with an 11-year-old girl on a cross-country school trip.

In June 2023, Colorado parents Joe and Serena Wailes sent their fifth-grade daughter along with classmates from Jefferson County Public Schools on a trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

Monday, their legal counsel from Alliance Defending Freedom submitted a letter to the Jefferson County School Board and Superintendent Tracy Dorland demanding clarification on the “whether JCPS will continue this practice of intentionally withholding information about rooming accommodations from parents like the Waileses, who object to their children rooming with a student of the opposite sex, regardless of the other student’s gender identity.”

Libs of TikTok shared the story exclusive to The Daily Signal and made note that “Nobody on the trip knew he was trans because he was in ‘stealth mode.’ The district’s policy is to room students based on gender identity.”

“This practice renders it impossible for these parents to make informed decisions about their children’s privacy, upbringing, and participation in school-sponsored programs,” wrote Kate Anderson, the director of ADF’s Center for Parental Rights in the letter shared with the Signal.

“Additionally, our clients request information related to JB R-1 and the ability to opt out of this rooming policy for all future school trips,” the letter stated.

As it was detailed, the Wailes’ daughter was assigned to a room with two girls from her school and a boy from a different school who believed himself a girl, with whom their daughter was also assigned to share a bed.

“We were definitely not aware of that before we went on the trip,” Wailes, who accompanied the traveling students, but not as a chaperone, told the Daily Signal. She explained that the boy confided his secret to the girls resulting in her daughter, identified as D.W. in the letter, absconding to the bathroom to call her.

The mother directed her daughter to meet her in the lobby and recounted she was “terrified and really upset about the idea of sharing a bed with a biological boy–even though she had a good relationship with this other student.”

“I was really upset,” added Wailes.

“One, I was really upset that she was put in that situation at 11 years old–I don’t feel that is fair to put kids in that kind of situation–and two, that we were not even given the information that this was a possibility before the trip. The whole time they’re saying, ‘Girls on one floor, boys on another, they’re not going to be in each other’s rooms unless it is pre-approved.’ So we’re going through this whole process, not even recognizing that this is a possibility,” she explained to the Signal.

Meanwhile, D.W.’s father told the Signal over the phone, “I felt a bit helpless. I was 2,000 miles away. My daughter is scared in a bathroom trying to get herself out of a situation. It was a frustrating experience, and I just really felt like it was not a situation my daughter should be put in.”

According to ADF’s letter, the boy’s parents “confirmed their child’s transgender gender identity,” to Principal Ryan Lucas after the issue was brought to their attention, “and that [he] was to be in ‘stealth mode,’ meaning students on the trip would not know about their child’s transgender status.”

In seeking a resolution, the boy was relocated to a bunk with a different girl in another room.

“Throughout the entire evening, [his] privacy and feelings were always the primary concern of JCPS employees. After JCPS disregarded D.W.’s privacy and the Waileses’ parental rights, JCPS then silenced D.W., thus infringing on her freedom of speech, when a JCPS teacher told the three girls that they were not allowed to tell anyone that [he] was transgender, even though [he] voluntarily chose to share this information,” wrote Anderson.

With two fourth-grade children expected to make a similar trip in 2024, the parents not only sought clarity on the room policy, but transparency of assignments and the ability for parents to opt out on similar arrangements like the one their daughter had been provided.

“They want to make sure that every parent knows that this is a possibility and can have the opportunity to opt out or make the best decision for their kid,” explained Anderson. “But they also have two younger children that they want to make sure are not in the same situation that their older daughter was in.”

Reactions on social media were less tempered than that of the Wailes family who had offered a measured response to an incident previous generations would never have allowed to occur.

Kevin Haggerty


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