Wisconsin’s Kiel Area School District has dropped a Title IX sexual harassment lawsuit it filed against middle school children for “mispronouning” another student.
This development comes as the school district was subject to heavy media scrutiny as well as the children’s legal defense from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL).
“Over the last several weeks, our school district and community have been greatly impacted by media attention related to a complaint involving harassment,” a letter from the district board of education states.
“As we move forward, we want to acknowledge the strain on our administrators and staff who have been criticized for simply carrying out the functions of their job as set out in District policy,” the letter continues. “These are individuals who have dedicated their careers to education and who selflessly put the interests of all students in front of their own each day they come to work in the District.”
As Breitbart News reported, the three eighth-grade boys were sued under Title IX for using “incorrect pronouns” by their school district.
“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,” a press release from WILL stated at the time, explaining that the boys were simply using the “biologically correct” pronouns.
Attorneys at WILL argued that forcing children to use biologically — and grammatically — incorrect pronouns amounted to a First Amendment violation and was an attempt by the school district to broaden the scope of Title IX so as to limit student speech. The district also appeared to protect administrators who used proper pronouns in contravention of their interpretation of Title IX.
According to a press release from WILL regarding the district’s recanting of the lawsuit, the defense attorneys sent a June 2 follow-up letter to the district calling for the dismissal of the Title IX suit.
“While we are glad that the District has ended its investigation, this dispute should have never been escalated to this point,” Rose Rabidoux, a parent of one of the eighth-graders facing the lawsuit, said. “We expect the Kiel Area School District to ensure that this Title IX complaint is not on my son’s record. We are thankful to our friends, family, and community for their support.”
“We are pleased that the Kiel Area School District has finally ended its misguided Title IX investigation,” WILL deputy counsel Luke Berg said in a press release. “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.”
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