Judgment day for middle-schoolers charged with misusing pronouns

(Image courtesy Unsplash)
(Image courtesy Unsplash)

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty has revealed that school officials in Wisconsin who launched a Title IX complaint and investigation of three middle school students accused of using the wrong pronouns on a classmate have dropped their case.

WILL explained that the case against the three was closed by the Kiel Area School District.

They had been subjected to the complaint because they allegedly used an “incorrect” pronoun for a classmate.

WILL had written to the district a few weeks ago, “explaining that the mere use of biological correct pronouns not only does not constitute sexual harassment under Title IX or the district’s own policy, but is speech protected by the First Amendment.”

The district, according to the legal team, had tried various ways to end the case but all of those were within the outline of its Title IX investigation, and the families of the boys said that was unacceptable.

So the district eventually sent letters to the boys while announcing the investigation was “closed.”

Luke Berg, WILL deputy counsel, explained, “We are pleased that the Kiel Area School District has finally ended its misguided Title IX investigation. While the district’s statement attempts to reframe the investigation, it was always primarily about ‘mispronouning.’ The district may not be willing to admit it publicly, but it has recognized that it has no legal basis to demand that our clients refrain from ‘mispronouning’ other students.”

The mother of one student, Rose Rabidoux, said, “While we are glad that the district has ended its investigation, this dispute should have never been escalated to this point. We expect the Kiel Area School District to ensure that this Title IX complaint is not on my son’s record.”

The law firm said it would follow up with the district about the removal from the boys’ records of any allegations about “mispronouncing.”

The three were targeted by the district for using a biologically correct pronoun when referring to a classmate, instead of submitting to that student’s demand of being called “they-them.”

The school had claimed that when a student gives other students instructions about such references, any failure to follow those is “punishable sexual harassment.”

WILL explained, however, actual sexual harassment includes “things like rape, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, inappropriate touching, and quid pro quo sexual favors.”

Not “mispronouncing.”

Further, the First Amendment would protect any such statements, WILL said.

WND earlier reported that the school also was accused of failing 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.”

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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