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Teacher manipulated 9-year-old girl to adopt transgender identity; child develops suicidal thoughts, suit alleges
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Teacher manipulated 9-year-old girl to adopt transgender identity; child develops suicidal thoughts, suit alleges

A New York teacher manipulated a 5th-grade girl into changing her gender, causing the child to experience suicidal ideation, a lawsuit filed in Suffolk County Court alleges.

"Debra Rosenquist manipulated a pre-teen female into changing her gender identity when the child did not feel any inclination to do so," the girl's parents' attorney, Debra L. Wabnik, Esq., told Fox News.

"The psychological and social damage Rosenquist caused this child and her family was immense. Incredibly, the District still has Rosenquist in the classroom where she can similarly harm other innocent children," Wabnik also said.

Rosenquist, who teaches at Terryville Road Elementary School in Port Jefferson Station on Long Island, started calling the girl "Leo" and using male pronouns to refer to her toward the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, the New York Post reported, citing the lawsuit filed in Suffolk County Court in January.

"As a result, [the student] became confused as to her gender. Despite knowing about Rosenquist’s conduct…, it took the District, [Superintendent Jennifer J.] Quinn, and [Principal Annemarie V.] Sciove months to inform [her parents] about it," Fox News reported on allegations made in the lawsuit.

"The parents did not learn about what Rosenquist was forcing upon A.V. until it was discovered that the child had suicidal ideations," the attorney also said.

Court documents use "A.V." in place of the child's name.

The parents first became aware of the situation when the principal called to alert them to a concerning drawing A.V. had made. The drawing was a picture of a girl and writing that said "I wanna kill myself" and "I feel sad like a lot," the Post reported.

In addition to referring to A.V. as "Leo" "for months," Rosenquist is also accused of persuading students in her classroom to try "being gay" and encouraging children to "try" being the opposite gender.

Rosenquist allegedly read and provided students with off-curriculum graphic books about gender and sexuality, Fox News said, citing court documents.

The outlet also reports that the district admitted it "had no idea Rosenquist taught from a book about LGBTQ+ individuals that was not part of the curriculum and how detailed the book was about transitioning, surgery, and hormones."

The lawsuit names Rosenquist; the Brookhaven-Comsewogue School District; the district's superintendent, Jennifer J. Quinn; and the the school's principal, Annemarie V. Sciove.

Superintendent Quinn, who told the outlet she was limited on what she could comment on due to pending litigation, released the below statement:

"After a thorough investigation and consultation with our attorney, action is [being] taken in accordance with applicable laws and collective bargaining agreements. Please be assured that this has been done."

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