Florida school district employee faces termination after she let her son play on girls’ volleyball team

News & Politics

A woman in Florida may soon be fired from her job with the Broward County school district after she apparently allowed her son to play on the girls’ volleyball team at his high school.

Last November, Jessica Norton was one of several members of the faculty and staff at Monarch High School near Fort Lauderdale to be reassigned to jobs at “non-school sites” after then-Superintendent Peter Licata discovered that a boy may have been playing on the school’s girls’ volleyball team, as Blaze News previously reported.

‘I saw the light in my daughter’s eyes gleam with future plans of organizing and attending prom, participating and leading senior class traditions, speaking at graduation, and going off to college.’

That boy turned out to be Norton’s son, though she routinely refers to him as her “daughter.” She also indicated that his name and gender have both been legally changed, and Florida law does permit minors to legally change their gender on birth certificates and driver’s licenses so long as they have parental consent, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

However, another Floridian law, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, signed into law in 2021, forbids biological males like Norton’s son from joining sports teams reserved for women and girls. Not only did Norton apparently violate this statute by knowingly permitting her son, now 16, to play on the girls’ team, but she also allegedly kept his gender listed as “female” on school records and checked “female” on a form asking about his sex at birth.

Norton was an information management specialist at Monarch as well as the school’s junior varsity volleyball coach, though whether her son played on her team or another volleyball team is unclear. She was then transferred to a district facility where she was assigned janitorial tasks in defiance of a district collective bargaining agreement which requires her to be given clerical work comparable to her original position, she alleged.

Meanwhile, an initial district investigation into whether she violated the FWSA failed to clear her of wrongdoing, escalating her case to a professional standards committee. In March, that committee recommended that Norton receive a 10-day suspension, but then-Superintendent Licata and current Superintendent Howard Hepburn overruled that decision and recommended termination instead.

The Broward County School Board was scheduled to consider her termination at a meeting on Tuesday, but that agenda item was pulled a few days before. No explanation for the last-minute change was given.

Nevertheless, Norton and her husband, Gary, attended the meeting where Norton proceeded to sing her own praises. “I don’t have to tell you about all the heart that I bring to the Monarch High School community. The public statements of support that you have received on my behalf tell the story of who I am and what I have meant to countless students, colleagues, and families at Monarch High School,” she gushed.

She also congratulated herself on how well she has handled the investigation into her alleged FWSA violation. “For 203 days, I have been forthright and honest,” said the woman who calls her son a girl, “and have not been treated with a shred of respect or simple decency.”

She even cast herself as the “hero” in her son’s transgender drama. “It’s all right if I’m the villain in [the administration’s] story because I am the hero in my daughter’s story,” she averred.

Norton also spent considerable time explaining how her son was “flourishing” at Monarch High while masquerading as a girl. “I saw the light in my daughter’s eyes gleam with future plans of organizing and attending prom, participating and leading senior class traditions, speaking at graduation, and going off to college with the confidence and joy that any student like her would after a successful and enriching high school experience,” she claimed.

That “light was extinguished” when her son was “outed” as transgender last fall, Norton insisted. “Not one person in the District who is responsible for her checked-in on her safety or well-being,” she complained. “They claim to care about all students but they didn’t care about my child.”

Norton’s fate with the district is now scheduled to be considered at the school board meeting next month. Her son, whose identity has not been released, currently attends virtual school.

Norton also has two older children. Their genders are unknown.

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