A Long Island 5th-grade teacher at Terryville Road Elementary School in Port Jefferson Station reportedly “forced” a 9-year-old female student to use a male name and he/him pronouns which confused the child and allegedly caused her to have suicidal thoughts.
A lawsuit contends that Debra Rosenquist began calling the little girl “Leo” and forced male pronouns on her near the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. The parents filed a lawsuit against her in Suffolk County Court in January.
The parents only found out what was going on when the school principal called them in to tell them their child, known as A.V. in the filing, drew a picture of a girl, writing “I wanna kill myself” and “I feel sad like a lot,” according to the suit.
They were also informed that their daughter had met with and told the school psychologist that she “was confused about her gender identity.”
BREAKING REPORT: NY school teacher from Terryville Road Elementary School Debra Rosenquist accused of MANIPULATING FIFTH-GRADE STUDENT TO CHANGE GENDER without parents' consent.
Lawsuit claims Rosenquist's actions DROVE HER CHILD to consider suicide.
How would you HANDLE this?
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) March 1, 2023
Rosenquist, 62, had allegedly referred to the child as a boy for months at that point. Her actions were revealed during a Jan. 27, 2022 call when the parents were asked for the first time if the name “Leo” was okay, according to the lawsuit.
The little girl’s parents were supportive “as long as it was A.V. who had requested the name change,” the filing contended. However, they had severe doubts that their daughter had asked to be called “Leo” or to be identified as a boy. She was called that name by a friend previously because it referred to her astrological sign, according to the New York Post.
The parents also saw complaints against the teacher on Facebook. They claimed that Rosenquist had been reported for abuse but the school district hadn’t taken any action against her because she was tenured.
The child’s parents dug further into the Facebook comments and, according to the suit, found out that she didn’t follow the school curriculum and taught her students about transgenderism and advised them to “try being gay” or try going by the opposite gender. She even allegedly made her own LGBTQ+ book called “I Am Neither” for her 9 and 10-year-old students and assigned a book to them called “When Aiden Becomes a Brother.”
The student – who is identified as A.V. in the complaint – became confused as to her gender during the 2021-2022 school year because her teacher @DebraRosenquist insisted on using a male name and male pronouns to refer to the student.
Her tweets are currently protected: pic.twitter.com/zPFKBZddfV
— Karlyn Borysenko (@DrKarlynB) February 26, 2023
The parents were concerned that the topics were being taught to children too young to grasp their meaning. They were worried that the teacher “had significantly deviated from the district’s curriculum,” according to the lawsuit.
One of A.V.’s parents met with the school principal, the superintendent, and the assistant superintendent on Feb. 3, 2022. The administrators “admitted that the issue was ‘not handled properly’” and reportedly claimed that they hadn’t known about the off-curriculum materials that Rosenquist had been using.
The administrators asserted that they had investigated the matter, but the suit claims “it was clear the investigation was superficial at best.”
In the lawsuit, the parents are charging that Brookhaven-Comsewogue School District, Jennifer J. Quinn, Debra Rosenquist, Terryville Road Elementary School, and Annemarie V. Sciove are guilty of negligence in the matter. They are suing for unspecified damages.
The parents “were incredibly concerned about the well-being of their 9-year-old daughter,” the court papers stated. “They have and will always support A.V. but worried that A.V. was being persuaded by Rosenquist to be transgender when she had not expressed any such inclination.”
The child was moved to a different classroom after the discovery. The filing alleges that she is now being bullied and alienated. Classmates evidently have a text message group about A.V. that makes comments such as “literally tho what is she??? Girl?? Boy???” according to the lawsuit.
This teacher, Debra Rosenquist, Comsewogue School District. must be fired. Tenure for teachers has to go. Parents of kids in this district MUST contact your Legislators! If this was my kid, I’d be suing! pic.twitter.com/W9vJm77DHz
— Roman [email protected] (@roman0135) March 1, 2023
The attorneys claim that the child is suffering from “humiliation,” “anxiety,” “emotional pain,” and “trauma.” The 9-year-old’s family has had to pay for psychological treatment and lawyers fees because of all this.
Unbelievably, the school district now has Rosenquist teaching even younger students in another classroom, according to the family’s attorney Debra Wabnik.
Wabnik told the New York Post in a statement that Rosenquist “manipulated a pre-teen female into changing her gender identity when the child did not feel any inclination to do so.”
“The psychological and social damage Rosenquist caused this child and her family was immense,” Wabnik remarked. “Incredibly, the district still has Rosenquist in the classroom where she can similarly harm other innocent children.”
A.V. “prefers female, as she always did. At no point did she identify as male,” the lawyer commented. “The notion that she identified as male was foisted upon her by Rosenquist.”
Comsewogue School District Superintendent Jennifer Quinn claims that the school investigated and took action in accordance with the law and union agreements.
“The Comsewogue School District fosters a caring atmosphere conducive to learning free of any behaviors violative of our goal of dignity for all students,” Quinn said in a statement that was released on Tuesday. “The health, safety, and welfare of our students and staff are always the district’s top priority.”
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