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Lawsuit targets superintendent, other employees with charges they interfered in mom's parental rights

KOIN 6 NEWS PHOTO - Corbett Grade School in Corbett, Oregon on April 23, 2014.A Corbett mother is suing the Corbett School District, the superintendent and other district employees and volunteers charging they interfered with her parental rights by plotting to adopt her transgender son.

Greta Leontiev, a special education teacher in the Gresham-Barlow School District, filed the suit in federal District Court for Oregon Tuesday, May 16. She's alleging her 14th amendment rights to raise her child and freely practice her religion were violated.

She's asking the court to force the defendants to stop interfering in her parenting and also wants economic damages of an undetermined amount.

The suit claims that in the fall and winter of 2016 a Corbett teacher schemed to terminate Leontiev's parental rights and temporarily turn Leontiev's son over to his estranged biological father. That would set up the teacher to eventually adopt the 10th grader, it said. The child, identified only as FV, is transgender and identifies as a boy.

The teacher accused Leontiev of emotionally abusing her son and not supporting his sexual identity, the suit charges.

The suit names The Corbett School District, Corbett Superintendent Randy Trani and others. The school district's attorney responded to The Outlook, saying, "The District has acted at all times under the direction of legal counsel in responding to this family custody issue."

The defendants had not been served with the lawsuit by The Outlook's press time. The Outlook is not naming the other defendants until they have an opportunity to review the accusations. The defendants have 30 days to answer the complaint, said Leontiev's lawyer, Jill Gibson.

The mother's suit claims the teacher convinced FV he wanted to leave his mother's home and live with her. The mother's suit says the teacher received mail for FV and retained an attorney to help terminate the mom's parental rights.

Leontiev claims that some in the group shuttled FV around from house to house for weeks and refused to disclose his location to her.

Leontiev complained to district Superintendent Randy Trani, and the suit says he instructed district personnel to stop sheltering FV at their homes.

The teacher admitted to an investigator for the Oregon Department of Human Services that her goal was to adopt FV, the suit said.

FV told the DHS investigator that his mother didn't support him and that he wanted the teacher to have custody of him, but the suit said Leontiev loves her son and wants him to come home and is simply guilty of using the wrong pronouns sometimes.

DHS's investigation found that the teacher's allegations of child abuse against TV were unfounded and that FV was actually thriving in his home under his mother's care, the suit charges.

FV is living with his biological father in the Corvallis area. The suit alleges that the dad brings FV to school only once every 10 days, and FV has no contact with his mother.

"I believe that if children (only) go to school once every 10 days, they are unenrolled. He is bringing him to school just enough so he is not legally unenrolled," Gibson said.

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