'Incorrect pronouns' constitute sexual harassment, school claims

(Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay)
(Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay)

The transgender movement that shouts “discrimination” and “unfair” whenever a parent or teacher addresses a girl who claims to be a boy with feminine pronouns, or vice versa, now has snared students too.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty reports it has dispatched a letter to the Kiel Area School District urging officials there to drop a Title IX complaint and investigation into three eighth-grade boys.

They are accused of “sexual harassment” for using the wrong “pronouns” when they have referenced a classmate, who has demanded to be addressed as “they/them.”

The organization explains its letter to the district documents that “the mere use of biologically correct pronouns not only does not constitute sexual harassment under Title IX or the district’s own policy, it is speech protected by the First Amendment.”

Luke Berg, WILL deputy counsel, explained, “School administrators can’t force minor students to comply with their preferred mode of speaking. And they certainly shouldn’t be slapping eighth graders with Title IX investigations for what amounts to protected speech. This is a terrible precedent to set, with enormous ramifications.”

The institute explained that the three students were notified of the Title IX complaint for using “a biologically correct pronoun when referring to a classmate, instead of the student’s preferred pronoun of ‘they/them.'”

The institute charged, “The district’s position appears to be that once a student informs others of alternate, preferred pronouns, any subsequent ‘mispronouning’ automatically constitutes punishable sexual harassment under Title IX.”

However, the organization noted that sexual harassment, as defined in the federal law as well as the district’s own policy, typically covers violence like rape, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, quid pro quo sexual favors and such.

“None of that—or anything even close to it—is alleged in the complaint. While there is a catchall for ‘unwelcome conduct’ that is ‘so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to education,’ the mere use of a biologically correct pronoun, without significantly more, does not count, and if it did, it would violate the First Amendment,” WILL said.

Further, the organization documents that the district failed to follow Title IX procedures, or its own adopted process, which require notice of the allegations before any investigation so that anyone “accused” can prepare a response.

“The district failed to provide a detailed notice of the allegations, instead providing only a generic letter, one day before the district sought to question the minor students, stating that the boys were accused of ‘using incorrect pronouns,'” the institute reported. “The district initiated its investigation and conducted interviews without first providing additional details or giving the boys and their families time to prepare.”

Further, the district is violating both the First Amendment and the students’ Due Process rights in its campaign against them, the institute reported.

The letter to Supt. Brad Ebert, counselor Megan Kautzer and Principal Chad Ramminger suggests their agenda against the three students is “wholly inappropriate and should be immediately dismissed.”

The letter added, “Many people reasonably believe that ‘sex is fixed … regardless of an individual’s feelings or desires’ and do not want to endorse the idea that gender is self-declared. …. The use of ‘they/them’ pronouns, in particular, is awkward, grammatically incorrect, and, until recently, unheard of.”

The district, the letter warned, “does not have a license to act as classroom thought police.”

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